Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testified before a House Ag Committee Hearing Thursday which focused on the pending free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama. Citing the record trend in agricultural exports, now expected to hit 135.5-billion dollars this year, Vilsack said – our pending trade agreements will help continue that success story. Agriculture is now supporting more than 1.1 million jobs nationwide.
The Secretary said the pending FTAs, through agricultural exports alone, will yield over 2.3-billion dollars in sales and help support more than 19-thousand American jobs in agriculture and related industries. He said the Korea agreement alone is expected to increase U.S. agricultural sales by 1.9 billion dollars. And pending agreements with Colombia and Panama will also increase U.S. ag sales.
The Secretary pointed – it is critical for U.S. agriculture that we work together to move the three pending trade agreements. We can level the playing field with some competitors. These deals will also secure better markets for U.S. agriculture ahead of others. Mr. Vilsack said he is – hopeful that Congress will act swiftly to approve these trade agreements.

NAFB News Service