Free-trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, stalled for five years by political maneuvering, may be submitted to Congress as early as this week, according to the Wall Street Journal.
If approved, the trade deals would add more than $11 to the price U.S. pork producers receive for each hog and generate more than 10,000 jobs, says Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes.
Last week, 10 Senate Republicans called on President Obama to deliver the trade pacts for consideration by Congress “immediately”. The Senate has approved the Trade Adjustment Assistance program but House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, (R-Ohio), wants the trade pacts submitted for approval before submitting the TAA for approval by the House. The TAA is designed to provide assistance to workers who lose jobs due to increased imports.
Iowa State’s Hayes has estimated that the U.S. pork industry would be out of all three markets in 10 years if the United States fails to implement the FTAs and Colombia, Panama and South Korea move forward on trade deals with other nations. The United States would lose thousands of jobs under such a scenario.
With approval by Congress, the trade deals could increase total U.S. exports by $13 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal report.
Source: Wall Street Journal, National Pork Producers Council