National Corn Growers Association first vice president Garry Niemeyer released the following statement on the importance of the pending trade promotion agreement with Panama. Niemeyer testified before the Senate Finance Committee:
“Panama is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America. Corn exports from the United States to Panama peaked in 2008 and have since decreased by 20 percent. If the United States fails to capture the opportunities in the Panama TPA, our share of Panama’s market will continue to plummet.
“Earlier this month, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack testified before the House Agriculture Committee and highlighted the success stories of American agricultural exports. In fiscal year 2011, U.S. agricultural exports are forecasted to reach a record $135.5 billion. Pending free trade agreements, like the one with Panama, will help farmers and ranchers continue this record breaking pace.
“NCGA urges members of Congress to support pending free trade agreements with Panama, Korea and Colombia. These FTAs provide expanded market opportunities for corn and corn co-products such as distillers grains. America’s farmers stand ready to develop and provide the products to meet the demands of modern global consumption.”