AMI, along with a diverse agriculture coalition of more than 60 industry associations and companies, is calling on Congress to approve the Korea- U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) without delay.
“Risks for U.S. agriculture – and they are extremely serious – arise if the KORUS FTA is not implemented. If this agreement is rejected, we stand to relinquish our export sales to countries that have implemented their own FTAs with Korea,” stated the letter sent to members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.
The letter pointed out that there are 13 such agreements in place or in the works involving some 50 nations around the world. They include some major agricultural producing and exporting countries: Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the 27-nation European Union, Mexico, Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), Peru and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc. South Korea’s FTA with the European Union is set to enter into force on July 1, 2011.
“This, coupled with the failure to implement the KORUS FTA, will put U.S. food and agriculture products at a severe disadvantage with respect to competition from the European Union in the Korean market,” the groups stated.
The letter pointed to an analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation, which found the KORUS FTA would result in $1.8 billion in additional sales to Korea, a 46 percent increase over existing sales. The letter noted that this analysis appears very conservative according to Dr. Hayes of Iowa State University and the American Meat Institute, which forecast increased U.S. beef, pork and poultry exports alone to be more than $2.1 billion.
“We can either lose jobs as our market share declines in Korea, or we can create new jobs by expanding exports to that market. We urge Congress to choose the latter. In addition, we urge Congress to work with the Obama administration so that the Colombia and Panama trade agreements also may soon be sent to Congress for approval. These agreements, like the KORUS, will generate additional agricultural exports and create new jobs,” the letter concluded.
To view this letter in its entirety, click here: http://www.meatami.com/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/65953