News Releases

Date: 5/4/2011

Title: NCBA Encouraged by Movement Forward on Pending Trade Agreements

-- NCBA Encouraged by Movement Forward on Pending Trade Agreements

WASHINGTON – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) supports immediate passage and implementation of pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. NCBA, the oldest and largest national organization representing the cattle industry, is greatly encouraged by news that the Obama administration is ready to begin technical discussions with congressional leaders to draft implementing legislation and Statements of Administrative Action for pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

“It is great that the United States is getting off the sidelines and back into the game of expanding trade opportunities for U.S. products by moving forward with the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia,” said Bill Donald, NCBA president and Montana cattleman. “NCBA has been an outspoken supporter of these agreements because they increase market access and provide stable export markets based on internationally recognized scientific standards.” U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk today sent letters to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee indicating Colombia has taken necessary steps, in accordance with an action plan agreed upon by both nations regarding labor rights, to move forward with finalizing this agreement. Donald said USTR has played a critical role in moving these agreements forward.

“With 96 percent of the world’s consumers living outside our borders, we have to be able to compete in the global marketplace. While these agreements have been stalled, our trade competitors have moved forward with deals of their own,” Donald said. “We are encouraged by today’s news and we appreciate Ambassador Kirk’s leadership in moving these agreements forward. NCBA strongly urges members of Congress and the administration to work expeditiously to implement all three agreements as soon as possible.”

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