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Bilateral Free Trade Agreements a Possibility

NCGA notes potential benefits for corn growers.

House leaders last week announced agreement on a range of changes on all pending free trade agreement, including new enforceable labor and environmental provisions.

The agreement, announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., would potentially allow for Congressional consideration on U.S. bilateral free trade agreements with Panama, Peru, Colombia and South Korea.

"This agreement was a positive and necessary step by leadership in Congress and the administration to be able to move forward on trade agreements that will ultimately have significant gain for U.S. producers," says Bob Bowman, NCGA's Joint Trade Policy A-Team chairman. "Corn growers benefit from the increased market access in good free trade agreements."

NCGA estimates that U.S. corn distillers dried grains production will reach over 30 million tons by Marketing Year 2010/2011. DDGS exports between January and August 2006 were 24 percent higher than the same period the year prior.

Scheduling and floor consideration is expected soon, although no timeframe was provided.

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