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NBFA Statement on the signing of the US Trade Agreements with Korea, Columbia and Panama

October 20, 2011

For Immediate Release


John Boyd President of the National Black Farmers Association Released
the Following Statement on the signing of the US Trade Agreements with
Korea, Columbia and Panama


This past June, I had the opportunity to meet with United States Trade
Representative Ron Kirk. We discussed ways to improve trade
opportunities for Black and other minority farmers, including the
Korea, Columbia and Panama agreements. The NBFA supported the passage
of the implementing bills for these agreements and is honored to take
part in the signing ceremony at the White House with President Obama
and Ambassador Kirk.

We appreciate the leadership of Ambassador Kirk and other leaders of
Congress to make this a reality. We know it was not easy. But these
trade bills will open new doors of opportunity for America's farmers
and ranchers. This is another example of the Obama Administration
improving lives in rural America, which is the NBFA's top priority.

Below is further information on each of the three agreements, taken
from USTR.gov and other sources. Members can visit www.ustr.gov/fta or
the USDA website for more details, to take full advantage of the
agriculture export opportunities these agreements offer.

Korea: The United States is already South Korea’s top supplier of
agriculture products, including of a broad variety of farm products
such as almonds, fresh cherries, hides and skins and corn. The
U.S.-South Korea trade agreement creates new opportunities for U.S.
farmers, ranchers and food processors seeking to export to South
Korea’s 49 million consumers, giving American agricultural producers
more market access in two ways – by getting rid of tariffs charged
when U.S. exports come into South Korea, and by laying out a framework
to tackle other barriers to U.S. exports –even those that might arise
in the future.

Columbia: Columbia is an important market for America’s farmers and
ranchers. In 2010, the United States exported $832 million of
agricultural products to Colombia, the second highest export total in
South America. Top U.S. exports include wheat, corn, cotton, soybeans,
and corn gluten feed. Upon implementation of the Colombia TPA, U.S.
exporters will receive immediate duty-free treatment on products
accounting for almost 70 percent of current trade.


Panama: In 2010, the United States exported over $450 million of
agricultural products to Panama, more than double U.S. agricultural
exports to Panama in 2005. Top U.S. exports were corn, soybean cake
and meal, wheat, rice, and horticultural products. Upon implementation
of the Panama TPA, U.S. exporters will receive duty-free treatment on
products accounting for more than half of current trade, with tariffs
on most remaining agricultural products phased out within 15 years.
Moreover, the two countries signed a far-reaching agreement on
sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and technical standards that
eliminated long-standing regulatory barriers faced by a variety of
U.S. products in the Panamanian market