Free Trade Agreements Sent to Congress; AMI Urges Swift Action

Monday, October 3, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

President Obama today sent three long-stalled free trade agreements (FTAs), with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, to Congress for final ratification. 

American Meat Institute (AMI) President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle urged swift congressional action on the three trade pacts and highlighted the positive impact full implementation would have on both the meat and poultry industry and the U.S. economy as a whole. 

“These agreements contain significant export gains for our meat and poultry products that will only be realized by passage and implementation,” Boyle said.  “Conversely, inaction has proven to result in loss of U.S. market share and forfeiture of economic growth.”

Boyle pointed out that the three trade agreements combined represent more than $2 billion of additional agriculture exports to these trading partners.

According to a recent impact study conducted in part by AMI, the Korean, Colombian and Panamanian FTAs would also represent the creation of 29,524 new jobs in the U.S. meat and poultry sectors.

The data also reveal that passage of the agreements could increase U.S. exports of beef by $1.4 billion, pork by $772 million and poultry by $102 million. The jobs resulting from this growth, both in the commodity groups and downstream, would include an estimated 18,000 jobs in the beef industry, 10,300 jobs in the pork industry and 1,200 jobs in the poultry industry.

“We applaud our trade negotiators for their work in getting these agreements to the next step, and we urge Congress to quickly ratify them to take full advantage of the opportunity they provide for America’s much needed economic growth,” Boyle concluded. 

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