Reports emerged Friday afternoon that the United States and South Korea have reached a deal that will allow a pending free trade agreement between the two countries to move forward.
This compromise was said to be made in consultation with Congressional leaders, which should pave the way for the Obama Administration to send the agreement to Capitol Hill as early as January.
The U.S.-Korea agreement and similar measures between the U.S. and Panama and Colombia have languished since being signed during the Bush Administration.
With uncertainly surrounding their chances in Congress and larger political disagreement about trade priorities, the Obama Administration has been hesitant to send them to Congress for ratification, even while setting a goal to double exports.
NAWG, U.S. Wheat Associates and other agricultural groups have been highly and vocally supportive of the three agreements, which should bring in hundreds of millions of dollars of sales.
The wheat industry is particularly concerned with immediate passage of the Colombia agreement, without which a market share of 70 percent is at risk, particularly from Canada, which recently negotiated its own FTA with the country.
While the Korea agreement would have less impact on the wheat industry, it is seen as a linchpin for movement of any of the accords and any new agreements negotiated in the future.
The industry will continue to follow developments in this process as they occur. For more about the wheat industry’s trade priorities, please visit www.wheatworld.org/trade.