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Agricultural News

Lucas Urges Obama Administration to Get FTAs to Congress to Allow Mid Year Implementation

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 4:02:31 CDT

Lucas Urges Obama Administration to Get FTAs to Congress to Allow Mid Year Implementation The Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas, says that the Obama Administration has talked a lot about getting key free trade agreements ratified here in 2011, several years after the Bush Administration actually negotiated these agreements. In recent days, the Administration has announced they have "improved" the agreements for South Korea and Columbia- but have not taken the actual step of moving the agreements to Congress, which must be done to finish the ratification process. Congressman Lucas says it is vital to agriculture that we capitalize on recent developments with tangible action on the free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. Every day the U.S. delays implementing these agreements, there are lost opportunities for job creation and economic growth. Chairman Lucas encourages President Obama to do the work necessary to ensure they are implemented by mid-year.

Congressman Lucas says in his weekly audio commentary, the Ag Minute, we can not afford any more delays.

You can listen to the Ag Minute Commentary by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below. Here is the transcript:

"The news last week that President Obama was making plans to move forward with the Colombia free trade agreement was encouraging and long overdue.

"The Presidentís inaction on the three pending trade agreements has cost rural America in lost sales and unnecessary tariffs. We can quantify the cost of delay. On $2.6 billion in lost exports, the additional economic activity could have been another $3.8 billion for our economy.

"Additionally, we are losing ground to our fiercest competitors who are racing to implement their own agreements with Colombia and other key markets.

"Each and every American can benefit from opening markets for our exports. American farmers and ranchers are so efficient they are able to produce more than enough food to feed this nation. U.S. agricultural exports currently support nearly 900,000 jobs. And, historically, agriculture has worked hard to maintain a trade surplus even during the most recent economic downturn.

"The importance of ratifying the Colombia agreement is simple. It not only would strengthen relations with an important ally and trading partner, but would open the door for more than $900 million in previously untapped market access.

"We cannot afford any more delays. Itís time to move forward on these agreements."


House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas Talks FTAs in this week's Ag Minute from the House Ag Committee
right-click to download mp3


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