The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) applauds the accord reached on the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement by the Obama Administration. Increasing export opportunities is a top priority for the U.S. feed industry. AFIA strongly urges action on all pending Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) as soon as possible.
AFIA urges the U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement to move forward to Congress swiftly, so action can be taken on the FTA this summer. Ratifying the agreement will increase American competitiveness while removing barriers to U.S. goods entering the Colombian market. The agreement will create U.S. job opportunities and will expand U.S. exports by over $1 billion, increasing the GDP by $2.5 billion.
“While AFIA applauds the trade agreement with Colombia, we also urge approval of FTAs with Panama and Korea,” explained Joel G. Newman, president and CEO of AFIA. “The FTAs will improve the economy by creating American jobs and expanding U.S. market share, and support the administration’s objective to increase U.S. exports.”
AFIA is a member in a coalition of food and agricultural organizations in support of passage of the FTAs. If the Korea – U.S. Free Trade Agreement is rejected, the U.S. will lose market share to other countries who have implemented their own FTAs with Korea, such as the European Union (EU), whose FTA goes into effect July 1, 2011. Colombia has implemented agreements with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and plans to implement similar FTAs with Canada and the EU. AFIA also strongly supports ratification of the U.S. – Panama FTA. Panama approved the FTA on June 11, 2007, while the U.S. has yet to grant the same approval. Along with the other unapproved FTAs, this will put U.S. food and agriculture products at a disadvantage with competing countries if we do not ratify the agreements.
AFIA strongly urges Congress to approve all three agreements at the earliest opportunity.
“International trade is increasingly important to the agriculture industry and while we recognize the President is committed to the U.S. trade agenda, the country will only remain competitive through additional agreements like these with Colombia, Panama and the Republic of Korea. This is the only way to expand market opportunities and ensure a level playing field within the international market,” stated Newman.