The House of Representatives and the Senate have approved three free trade agreements (FTAs) expected to boost the jobs market and trade adjustment assistance for American workers.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack responded: “We are pleased that both Houses of Congress acted swiftly to support tens-of-thousands of American jobs today (Oct. 12) by ratifying trade agreements with South Korea, Columbia and Panama, as well as trade adjustment assistance to help train workers for the 21st century economy. For American agriculture, passage of these agreements means over $2.3 billion in additional exports, supporting nearly 20,000 jobs here at home. Passage of the agreements also levels the playing field and secures markets for America’s farmers, ranchers, growers and producers. Immediately upon implementation of these agreements, the majority of American products exported to Korea, Columbia and Panama will become duty-free. Swift action by Congress also helped us to maintain an advantage on competitors striking their own trade deals with these nations.
“The trade agreements will also strengthen what has been a bright spot in the American economy. With record agricultural exports supporting more than a million jobs here at home, passage of these deals will contribute to a positive U.S. trade balance, create jobs, and provide new income opportunities for our nation’s agricultural producers, small businesses and rural communities.”
American Meat Institute President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle hailed the passage of the FTAs.
“When fully implemented, these free FTAs have the potential to be the biggest shot in the arm to the meat and poultry industry since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994. Results of an impact study conducted in part by AMI found that full implementation of the three FTAs will represent an additional $2.3 billion in exports and the creation of approximately 29,500 badly needed jobs here at home.”