Votes in both the House and the Senate are scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, October 12, to ratify the Colombia, Panama, and Korea Free Trade Agreements. All three agreements mean new markets for Illinois corn and other agricultural products and millions of dollars in economic activity for Americans.
Illinois Corn Growers Association has been hard at work today talking with each member of our Congressional Delegation and asking them to vote “yes” for each of the three agreements.
Would you like to help? Consider calling your Congressman and encouraging him or her to vote in favor of the Colombia, Panama, and Korea Free Trade Agreements. You could mention any of the following:
- Korea is our third largest corn market and potentially an important market for distiller’s grains.
- Colombia has traditionally been one of the top 10 export markets, but is currently importing corn from U.S. competitors because of an import duty preference.
- Panama is one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America. Corn exports peaked in 2008 and have since dropped by 20 percent.
- Since the E.U.-Korea trade agreement went into effect July 1, E.U. exports to Korea have increased by 36 percent from a year earlier.
- U.S. farmers have already lost more than $1 billion in sales to Colombia in the two years since that country implemented a trade deal with Argentina and Brazil. The entry-into-force of the Colombia-Canada Free Trade Agreement on August 15 has only put U.S. workers and farmers at a greater disadvantage.
For more information, check out last week’s daily updates on this issue or the trade section of our website.