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Ambassador Kirk Updates Agricultural Advocates on Trade Developments at Agribusiness Club Event

On Tuesday, Ambassador Kirk spoke to members of the Agribusiness Club of Washington at a lunch for business leaders, stakeholders, and agriculture advocates. He updated attendees on recent developments and accomplishments related to agricultural trade, and discussed a range of issues impacting farmers and growers in America.

Ambassador Kirk highlighted how the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia, once passed, will have enormous export-boosting, job-building potential for farms, ranches, and businesses across America. He explained how the reduced trade barriers between the U.S. and these three countries are expected to increase U.S. agricultural exports by an additional $2.3 billion. And, as Ambassador Kirk emphasized, when we increase agricultural exports – America wins. The USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates that each $1 billion in agricultural exports supports approximately 8,400 jobs – both on and off the farm.

Ambassador Kirk underscored Obama Administration’s commitment to advancing a fair and balanced trade agenda, including a bipartisan agreement to strengthen Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). This vital program would protect those who may be adversely affected by trade, including American farmers and fishermen.

Ambassador Kirk also discussed the recent resolution of the cross-border trucking dispute between the U.S. and Mexico. As a result, Mexico agreed to cut retaliatory tariffs on many U.S. agricultural products by half beginning last Friday. The remainder of the duties will be reduced to zero as soon as the first Mexican carrier receives authorization under the new U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) program.

Finally, citing a clear connection between jobs and agricultural exports, Ambassador Kirk highlighted the Obama Administration’s motivation to help remove trade barriers and get agricultural goods grown in America into new markets. He encouraged the audience to keep the pressure on Congress, just as they have kept the pressure on him, to approve and enact the three pending three agreements, along with TAA.

Ambassador Kirk and members of the Agribusiness Club
Ambassador Kirk and members of the Agribusiness Club