House in recess, some progress made on FTAs


While the House is in recess, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is encouraging people to contact their legislators to remind them of the importance of the pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia.

The NCGA says, “By letting them know that America’s farmers want a level, open playing field upon which to compete, friends of agriculture can help move these essential agreements forward.”

Despite the recess, some progress has already been made.

On April 18, a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) went into effect between the United States and Panama. The Panamanian government has also taken a series of legislative and administrative actions to further strengthen its labor laws and enforcement. United States Trade Representative Kirk announced that the Office of the United States Trade Representative had completed its preparatory work on the Panama FTA and was ready to begin technical discussions with Congress on the draft implementing bill and draft Statement of Administrative Action.

This week, the Administration announced it remains confident that each of the three pending FTAs will be sent to Congress this year. The Korea and Panama FTAs are ready for Congressional consideration now. Exact timing will depend on negotiations with Congressional leaders and other aspects of the administration’s broader trade agenda including the renewal of several expired trade programs.

Source: National Corn Growers Association