May 14, 2011

Podcast: South Korean and other trade deals are good for agriculture

In this podcast, Greg Whitmore (@SustainableGreg), a farmer from Shelby and member of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, notes that South Korea is one of the top five corn export markets for the United States and is a potential growth market for corn co-products like distillers grains.

"The Korean market is very valuable to U.S. corn farmers and we fully support the pending free trade agreement with Korea and have appreciated recent progress on this and other trade agreements," he said.

The FTA with South Korea provides that both feed corn and distillers grains receive immediate duty-free treatment. In addition, tariffs on all refined corn products will eventually be phased out, creating new market access for corn sweeteners and corn oil. The agreement also provides immediate market access for exports of corn starch.

"Just as important, though, the Korean FTA provides for significantly improved market access for beef, pork and other livestock products," Whitmore said. "This increases opportunities for Nebraska beef and pork producers and all those who raise livestock."

He also discusses the pending trade agreement with Columbia and the benefits it would bring – plus the potential of the pending deal with Panama and the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade pact that includes several countries in the Pacific.

"These and other trade deals help ensure all U.S. ag sectors have access to markets," he said. "They also help ensure food and ag goods move more freely around the world, which is good for consumers because in the end they’ll have more reliable access to them."

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