For FTA’s, Capitol Hill a Quagmire

Agricultural interests continue to express frustration with the lack of progress on pending free trade agreements (FTAs) with Columbia, Panama and South Korea.  Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley this week criticized the administration’s “apparent lack of urgency” in resolving outstanding issues with those countries.

An official of USDA’s Foreign Ag Service, deputy undersecretary Darci Vetter, spoke at an ag conference in Nebraska Thursday.  Vetter agrees the FTAs would be very beneficial to agriculture.  But in each case, she says there are other issues involved—tax evasion issues in Panama, labor violence in Columbia and automobiles in South Korea.

In a guest editorial in The Hill, a leading Congressional newspaper, American Meat Institute president J. Patrick Boyle urged Congress to pass the agreements.  He says rising meat consumption in other countries is a great opportunity for the U.S.—but in his words, “if the U.S. is not there to fill their plates, other major exporting nations will.”


One response to this post.

  1. […] trade issues such as the Columbia and Panamanian Free Trade Agreements and the U.S. Mexican trucking dispute have yet to be acted on and/or […]


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