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Background:
Congress needs to pass the three outstanding free trade agreements (FTAs). We estimate that the three FTAs combined represent almost $2.5 billion in additional exports, but that is only if they are implemented. For agriculture, Congress’ inaction on these agreements is no longer simply about the potential export gains but about preventing the loss of existing export markets.

Benefits to American Farmers:

  • U.S. farmers continue to face significant tariff barriers when exporting products into the Columbian market on average 25% (even though most ag products from Columbia enter the U.S. tax-fee).  Passage of the Colombia agreement will eliminate the tariffs placed on U.S. products.
  • Most of current Panamanian agricultural imports to the U.S. enter with zero tariffs under U.S. preference programs.  The agreement will level the playing field by providing U.S. products exported to Panama with the same duty-free access already enjoyed by Panama.
  • The Korea agreement will provide the U.S. with duty-free access on most agricultural products.

 

Urgent Action is Necessary:
• Major U.S. competitors are pursuing their own trade agreements.
• Canada completed negotiations with Colombia, should be implemented soon.
• Korea has recently signed trade deals with the European Union and Canada.
• The longer we wait to ratify the agreements, the more opportunities we stand to lose.

Impact on Pennsylvania Farmers:
Overall, every sector of Pennsylvania agriculture stands to benefit from each trade agreement.  
 
Numbers only reflect direct exports.  Grain exports to Korea are expected to decrease; because Korea will likely grow fewer hogs and poultry.  Instead, South Korea will likely import their meat products from America.  We estimate corn and small grains used in feeding livestock for Korea will increase by $1.7 million and soybeans will increase by another $400,000.

Legislative Request:
Farm Bureau calls on Congress to support passage of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.