NCBA's Woodall No Longer Confident Congress Will Pass Pending FTAs

Worry is that other bills will take precedent and agreements will be ignored.

Published on: Aug 18, 2011

A lot of attention is on the Debt Reduction Committee, but that's not the only business that needs attention in Washington D.C.

Colin Woodall of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association says he's changed his mind about the three pending free trade agreements.
 
"I am not as optimistic as I once was that we will get these done and that is a tragedy for all of the country but especially for agriculture, especially for cattle producers," Woodall said. "When you look at what exports are already doing for our industry right now, exports are worth $160 per marketed head. That's real money, plain and simple, for cattle producers and to be able to expand that would be even better, but unfortunately I believe our Congress is going to leave us high and dry."

And that's not all. Woodall says he can see a scenario that could get worse.

"I'm afraid that now that we have this super committee, this super Congress in the sack, that we still don't have the Federal appropriations bills done that will have to be addressed by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30," Woodall said. "I'm afraid that once again these three agreements will be ignored and set aside. And then at that point in time it's about looking at the calendar, if we really don't get these done before the mid to late part of October then it gets dumped into the election cycle."

If that should happen, Woodall says it would become just another game of politics and the United States producer would lose more market share.