Lindsay Mitchell

Oct 04, 2013  |  Today's News

A trade disruption between the U.S. and Panama will impact sales of U.S. corn, says the U.S. Grains Council.  How much of an impact remains to be seen, depending on when the U.S. government opens back up allowing U.S. officials to continue to resolve the problem with Panamanian officials.

Under the FTA implementation agreement, Panamanian buyers must register with the U.S. and schedule their purchases. On Sept. 27, the Panamanian government announced it would close the imports of U.S. corn for three and a half months (Jan. – April 15, 2014). This is shaky ground under a brand new agreement.

The U.S. Grains Council has already begun working with the U.S. Trade Representative, involving lawyers and USDA’s Foreign Ag Service in Panama, as well as the local poultry industry to find resolve. However, now that no U.S. government representatives exist to continue to address this issue, the U.S. Grains Council continues to attempt to reconcile the problem through their office in Panama.

The U.S. Grains Council represents the grain sellers, but not the government.  Their negotiating power to rectify such a large issue is in jeopardy when a member of the U.S. government cannot stand with them.

This will impact U.S. sales.  And with the excellent crop we are harvesting here in Illinois and export as one of our top markets, something that Illinois farmers may feel in their pocket books.