The American Soybean Association (ASA) witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Panama Canal Authority and the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) to undertake joint initiatives for marketing, data interchange, and market studies regarding modernization and improvements to the Panama Canal.
Speaking at the event, ASA Chairman Rob Joslin, a soybean producer from Sidney, Ohio, welcomed Administrator Aleman and the Panamanian officials and stressed the importance of the canal in the export of U.S. soybeans.
“The record levels of soybean exports we are experiencing surely would not be possible without the vital link that the canal provides,” Joslin said. “While trade markets and exports are going well for U.S. soybean farmers today, we recognize that we have to continually look for ways to improve our competitiveness or else we will be overtaken by our competitors in the global marketplace.”
Soybeans and soybean products are the number one United States export commodity. Last year, the U.S. exported a record-setting $23 billion in soybeans, soybean oil and soybean meal. This amount represents one-fifth of all U.S. agricultural exports and over 50 percent of U.S. soybean production.
The Panama Canal expansion provides an opportunity for the United States to improve its international competitiveness, but only if the U.S. makes the decisions and investments necessary to improve internal transportation infrastructure that supports U.S. exports.
“Put simply, the United States needs to modernize our infrastructure and ensure that we are positioned to compete down the road,” Joslin added. “As the policy arm of the U.S. soybean industry, the American Soybean Association will continue to work with policymakers to address our current and future transportation modernization infrastructure needs. This includes our ports and inland waterways, as well as our rail industry and highways.”
Source: American Soybean Association