S.D. Groups Back Free Trade Agreements

USDA says deals would increase South Dakota's exports of beef $22 million, wheat, $8 million; soybeans, $6 million; and pork, $5 million.

Published on: May 16, 2011

Eight South Dakota agricultural organizations recently joined the South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture in urging the state's Congressional Delegation to  push for approval of trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and Korea. 

The groups included the South Dakota Association of Cooperatives, South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, South Dakota Corn Growers Association, South Dakota Dairy Producers Association, South Dakota Farm Bureau, South Dakota Pork Producers Council, South Dakota Soybean Association and South DakotaWheat, Inc.

USDA's Economic Research Service indicates if the trade agreements are approved that South Dakota agricultural exports will increase by $51.8 million per year, and the state's economy will add more than 450 jobs.

South Dakota's beef industry stands to gain the most, increasing exports by more than $22 million. Wheat exports will go up more than $8 million, soybean exports will go up more than $6 million, and pork exports will increase more than $5 million.

The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement represents U.S. agricultural export gains of more than $370 million per year at full implementation. Currently, products from Colombia enter the United States duty-free. At the same time, U.S. farmers face significant tariff barriers that average 25% when exporting products into the Colombian market.  Meanwhile, U.S. exports to Colombia have dropped by almost 50% between 2008 and 2009. U.S. market share is being taken by Brazil and Argentina, who have their own FTAs with Colombia.

The U.S.-Panama TPA could mean increased U.S. agricultural exports to Panama of more than $46 million per year by full implementation. Most Panamanian agricultural imports to the U.S. enter with zero tariffs under U.S. preference programs. The agreement will change the one-way street of duty-free access currently enjoyed by Panamanian products, and turn it into a two-way street benefiting both countries.

The Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement  is one of the largest trade agreements for the United States. When fully implemented, U.S. agriculture could exceed $1.9 billion per year in additional agricultural exports. Korea has completed an agreement with the European Union, which expected to be implemented later this year.

Source: South Dakota Cattlemen's Association