The American Soybean Association (ASA) has sent out an action alert letter asking people to tell Congress to pass Free Trade Agreement implementing legislation. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the U.S. FTAs with Colombia, Panama and South Korea on Wednesday.
ASA says, “We have been waiting for nearly five years for these FTAs to be submitted to Congress, and now the ASA is urging Congress to swiftly pass the implementing legislation so the FTAs may enter into force as soon as possible. However, we need your active grassroots support. Please contact your Members of Congress as soon as possible before Wednesday’s vote and emphasize the need for passage of the pending U.S. trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.”
Contact information for your elected officials can be found at: www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml or the U.S. or by contacting the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
The following are key talking points ASA calls on members to touch:
- The three trade agreements combined represent nearly $3 billion of additional agricultural exports.
- Nearly five years of inaction on these FTAs resulted in loss of U.S. market share and forfeiture of economic growth.
- The Colombia FTA will benefit soybean farmers by immediately eliminating tariffs ranging from 5-20 percent on soybeans, soybean meal and soybean flour, and phase-out the 24 percent tariffs for crude soybean oil and refined soybean oil over 5 years.Most exports from Colombia already enter the United States duty-free, and this FTA will correct the current tariff imbalance in agricultural trade between our countries.
- The Korea FTA will increase exports of the major grain, oilseed, fiber, fruit and vegetable, and livestock products by $1.8 billion annually. The agreement offers immediate duty-free access to U.S. soybeans for crushing and to U.S. soybean meal.It also opens up South Korea’s food-grade soybean imports to the private sector.
- The Panama FTA will benefit soybean farmers by removing immediately the tariffs on U.S. soybeans, soybean meal, and crude vegetable oils.