DFA Calls for Congressional Action on Pending Trade Agreements

October 10, 2011

STATEMENT

Last week brought long-awaited movement on free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. On Monday, President Barack Obama submitted the three agreements to Congress, and on Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the agreements, clearing the way for a floor vote by the full House of Representatives.

“With a floor vote now imminent, it is critical that Congress understand the deep implications these export opportunities will provide U.S. industries, including the highly volatile dairy industry, and move quickly to vote the pending trade agreements into law.

"These agreements offer significant opportunity for U.S. dairy producers, providing an estimated benefit of more than $400 million a year. Specifically, according to an economic impact analysis released by the National Milk Producers Federation, the South Korea agreement would benefit U.S. dairy producers by $380 million per year in both increased exports and increased domestic prices. Additionally, that same study estimates the Colombia and Panama agreements together would add $50 million annually to the U.S. dairy sector.

"As economists predict a reduction in dairy prices from today into 2012, the benefits of these trade agreements, once implemented, will be meaningful to the domestic dairy industry. On behalf of our dairy farmer owners, we are urging Congress to show their support for the dairy sector and U.S. industries and pass these agreements immediately."

John Wilson
Senior Vice President