U.S. poultry and egg companies strongly support President Obama’s announcement during the recent G-20 summit that the Administration will resume its efforts to gain Congressional approval of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. It is a commitment that is applauded and appreciated by the undersigned poultry organizations. We are especially grateful to President Obama, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for their renewed determination to secure approval of the FTA.
The President set a deadline of November for approval of the FTA to coincide with the next G-20 meeting in Seoul.
In 2009, combined exports of U.S. chicken, turkey and egg products to Korea totaled $47.8 million. From 2005-09, total U.S. poultry and egg exports to Korea averaged over $52 million on an annual basis. The industry expects the export value of all U.S. poultry and egg products to Korea to increase to more than $90 million annually if the FTA were to be approved by Congress, a more than 80 percent increase from the current level.
The U.S.-Korea FTA was concluded and signed on June 30, 2007, but Congress has yet to approve the necessary legislation to implement the agreement. This legislation has been stalled by demands from some members of Congress that the agreement be renegotiated to include greater access for other U.S. products, such as automobiles.
The U.S. poultry and egg industry urges the Obama Administration and Congress to move quickly on implementing this agreement as signed. Too much time has already expired and too may benefits have been lost because this agreement has not been finalized. It is time for Congress to do the right thing by approving the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
National Turkey Federation
National Chicken Council
United Egg Producers
USA Poultry and Egg Export Council