Arizona farmers and ranchers and all of Arizona have a huge stake in global trade and the current free trade agreements (FTAs) with Korea, Colombia and Panama that are pending before Congress, suggests Arizona Farm Bureau. Combined, the three agreements represent nearly $2.5 billion in U.S. agriculture exports.
The delay in passing these three agreements has already cost American farmers and ranchers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost market share. Agriculture exports are essential to the prosperity of the overall U.S. economy including rural communities, according to Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers.
“The Korea, Colombia and Panama Free Trade Agreements mean an improved U.S. economy which represents a positive impact for all of us,” says Rogers. “Unfortunately, our ability to trade openly in the world marketplace is in jeopardy. These three trade agreements have been stalled in Congress for several years. It’s time to move them forward.”
Based on a study conducted for Arizona Farm Bureau by the American Farm Bureau and the United States Department of Agriculture, the three agreements in total are expected to increase exports from Arizona alone by $24.7 million per year. It’s estimated that the increased marketing opportunities for Arizona’s farmers and ranchers will add more than 220 jobs to the Arizona economy. Eliminating tariffs and other barriers on many of Arizona’s agricultural products going into these countries, the agreements will particularly increase trade for a range of Arizona agricultural products, including beef, fruits, vegetables and nuts, and processed food products. For a full report on the impact of these trade agreements on Arizona go to www.azfb.org.
Adds Rogers, “World trade will occur with or without the U.S. As long as Congress fails to act on the pending trade deals our role as a major trading partner diminishes, as well as opportunity for U.S. job creation. We can no longer afford to be left on the sidelines.”
About Arizona Farm Bureau
The Arizona Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving and improving the Agriculture industry through member involvement in education, political activities, programs and services. Please visit Arizona Farm Bureau and Fill Your Plate for more information.
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