Hoosier Corn and Soybean Farmers Voice Support for Trade Promotion Authority


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (February 19, 2015) — Hoosier agriculture is a major player in the production and export of U.S. agricultural products, exporting $4.8 billion in agricultural products annually. Indiana’s exports help boost farm prices andincome, while supporting about 36,200 jobs both on the farm and in related industries such as food processing, transportation, and manufacturing.

That’s why members of the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Growers Association recently hosted an industry roundtable with Phil Karsting, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service administrator, to voice their support for and the importance of the passage of the Trade Promotion Authority.

Trade Promotion Authority is a vital tool in negotiation and approval of trade agreements that support and create U.S. jobs while helping American agriculture to compete more successfully in an ever-expanding global marketplace. Right now, the United States is negotiating two critical trade agreements – the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). Trade Promotion Authority will help ensure that America’s farmers, ranchers, and food processors receive the greatest benefit from these negotiations.

“When 95 percent of consumers live outside our country’s borders, the future of American – and Indiana – agriculture depends largely on our ability to sell to foreign markets,” said Herb Ringel, ICGA president. “Agriculture exports play a huge role in the health of our nation’s economy, supporting more than one million American jobs. This year alone, the U.S. is expected to export nearly $150 billion in agricultural goods.”

In countries where the United States has free trade agreements in place, exports of U.S. food and agricultural products have grown significantly. For example, soybean, soybean meal, and soy oil exports to Korea, Colombia, and Panama have increased from $593 million in 2011 to nearly $961 million in 2014, and corn exports to Central America and the Dominican Republic increased from $338 million in 2005 to $670 million in 2014 since the implementation of free trade agreements with these countries.

“Agricultural exports are a major driver in the economy of both our state and our country,” said Don Wyss, ISA vice president. “Trade benefits farmers, American workers, and American consumers alike. That’s why Hoosier farmers are committed to fair and open global trade practices and policies. We encourage our Congressional delegation in Washington to support policies that give farmers greater access to markets and level the global playing field, including the passage of the Trade Promotion Authority.”

In 2013, Indiana’s top five agricultural exports were $1.7 billion of soybeans, $442 million of soybean meal, $429 million in feeds and fodder, $410 million of corn and $307 million of pork. And every dollar of agricultural export creates an additional $1.27 in business activity for our economy.

“To grow agricultural exports, the United States must continue to pursue market-opening opportunities that will improve the competitiveness of American farmers worldwide,” said Wyss. “Trade Promotion Authority legislation is vital because it establishes a partnership between the President and Congress that facilitates the negotiation and implementation of U.S. trade agreements that open markets for U.S. farmers.”

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The ICGA board, which works with the state and federal governments to develop and promote sound policies that benefit Indiana corn farmers, consists of 15 farmer-directors who provide leadership to the organization on behalf of the nearly 600 ICGA members statewide. For more information, visitwww.incorn.org.

The Indiana Soybean Alliance works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the effective and efficient investment of soybean checkoff funds and the development of sound policies that protect and promote the interest of Indiana soybean farmers. The ISA is working to build new markets for soybeans through the promotion of biodiesel, livestock, grain marketing, aquaculture, new soybean uses, and research. ISA is led by an elected farmer board that directs investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 28,000 Indiana soybean farmers and promotes policies on behalf of the ISA’s 800 dues-paying members. Visitwww.indianasoybean.com for more information.

This communications was NOT funded with Indiana soybean or corn checkoff dollars.