Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Trade Agreement With South Korea Would Bring Jobs to Texas

From beef cattle raisers and corn growers to dairy producers and soybean farmers, varied agriculture groups are praising the recent progress on the U.S.-South Korea Trade Agreement.

While Congress and the South Korean National Assembly still must ratify this agreement (and do so quickly in order to eliminate any unfair advantage sought by other countries), these negotiations will have huge implications for the Texas economy. We’re talking jobs here.

The door is now opening for Texas farmers and ranchers to have access to the nearly 50 million consumers in South Korea. While concessions have been made in areas, including rules on beef trade, according to USDA, this new deal will result in “a combination of tariff phase outs, new tariff-rate quotas and regulatory harmonization that will result in improved access to South Korea’s $1 trillion economy.”

This progress is certainly long-awaited news for all of American agriculture and will help ensure our producers can compete on a more level playing field when it comes to facing international competition. Not only do we hope Congress will approve this Free Trade Agreement, and do so quickly, we also think the time is right to act on the pending Columbia and Panama Free Trade Agreements as well.

Christmas is still weeks away, but Congress can now provide a gift to American agriculture that is long overdue.

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