Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) hailed the announcement Oct. 22 that the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will go into effect on Oct. 31.
The FTA will provide U.S. exporters access to Panama’s $20.6 billion services market as well as more than $15 billion in infrastructure projects in Panama for American businesses.
According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, 2010 U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports to Panama were worth $10.4 million. They could essentially double with the FTA, surpassing $20 million by 2016.
The FTA would mean:
The National Pork Producers Council says at full implementation U.S. pork exports will increase by $16 million annually, creating 213 U.S. pork industry jobs.
The increase in exports will also cause live U.S. hog prices to rise by $.20/head, NPPC officials project.