The American Farm Bureau Federation and other agricultural groups are calling on Congress to stop dragging its feet and pass the Colombia, Panama and South Korea free trade agreements. AFBF President Bob Stallman said Congress’ inaction on the FTAs is costing U.S. agriculture lost market share and competitiveness.
“We are seeing all around us FTAs being negotiated or already negotiated by our competitors, increasing their export potential and putting the U.S. at a disadvantage,” said Stallman. “The three FTAs combined, which are stalled in Congress, represent almost $2.5 billion in additional exports.”
Because the FTAs have not been implemented, Colombia, Panama and South Korea are moving forward on trade deals with U.S. competitors. Panama has just completed an agreement with Canada and South Korea has completed negotiations with the European Union and is currently negotiating with Canada.
Stallman and leaders of other farm organizations made their case at a noon news conference Monday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Also present were representatives of the National Corn Growers Association, the National Pork Producers Council, the National Association of Wheat Growers and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.