Free Trade Agreements could Boost Meat and Poultry Industry


Pending Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama represent immediate growth opportunities in both revenue and jobs for the meat and poultry sector. The third largest beef exporter in the world, the United States exports more than 897,000 metric tons valuing more than $3.1 billion in 2009. Pork and poultry exports are equally as competitive.

Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama could create an additional $2.3 billion in exports and create nearly 30,000 new jobs. 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. Trade numbers are based on projections from the respective commodity groups. Job creation data is based on employment multiplier projections from U.S.D.A.’s Economic Research Service (E.R.S.) and industry groups, which estimate:
– For every $1 billion in beef exports, 12,700 jobs are created.
– For every $1 billion in pork exports, 13,333 jobs are created.
– For every $1 billion in poultry exports, 11,853 jobs are created.

Over the course of the next decade, the Economic Research Service estimates meat exports to rise over twenty percent. However, for this potential to be realized, access to key growth markets must be secured now.

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