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AMI Reiterates Support for FTAs in Advance of Senate Hearing on 2011 Trade Agenda

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

AMI yesterday reiterated its support for the pending U.S. trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama in a letter to Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance. The letter, co-signed by more than 50 companies and associations, was sent to Baucus in advance of today’s hearing on the president’s 2011 trade agenda.

“The three trade agreements combined represent almost $3 billion of additional agriculture exports to these trading partners,” the letter stated. “These gains can only be realized by implementation of these three agreements. There is urgency to the need for passage of the agreements. The United States is watching other countries implement their own trade deals with these countries giving them a competitive advantage while its sales and market share decline.”

According to a recent impact study conducted in part by AMI, the Korean, Colombian and Panamanian FTAs would represent an additional $2.3 billion in exports and the creation of 29,524 new jobs.

The data also reveal that passage of the agreements could increase U.S. exports of beef by $1.4 billion, pork by $772 million and poultry by $102 million. 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.

“These agreements contain significant export gains for U.S. agriculture that will only be realized by passage and implementation. Conversely, inaction has proven to result in loss of U.S. market share and forfeiture of economic growth. The U.S. government’s inability to move these agreements benefits of our foreign competitors and harms U.S. agriculture. We urge that Congress and the administration support and quickly pass these agreements to take full advantage of the opportunity they provide for America’s economic growth,” the letter concluded.

To view the letter in its entirety, click here: http://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/67338

For more information on today’s hearing, click here: http://finance.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=b3348fe0-5056-a032-52ab-fd736221edc9

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