Corn Growers Applaud Foreign Trade Deal

Posted on: June 24, 2015

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)—Today’s passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) by the U.S. Senate is being commended by members of the Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA). Having already passed the House of Representatives, the bill now moves to the president’s desk where it is expected to be signed.

“Trade Promotion Authority gives farmers a seat at the table when it comes to international trade,” said MCGA President Kevin Hurst of Tarkio, Mo. “Every bushel of corn we raise competes with corn from other countries. If we aren’t part of a trade agreement, we can easily get priced out of markets where other agreements exist.”

With TPA, U.S. negotiators will have the ability to enter into trade agreements with more leverage. TPA legislation renews the president’s authority to submit trade agreements to Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendments. This is a critical to finalizing agreements and assuring trade partners that a final deal will not be altered by Congress if approved, while still giving Congress the ability to reject poor trade deals.

Foreign trade is critical to Missouri’s economy, with exports topping $14 billion in 2014. Those exports account for 6,000 businesses selling goods that support 86,000 Missouri jobs. Nearly a third of those exports are tied to agriculture.

“Missouri corn farmers need strong, sound agricultural policy to boost demand during this time of depressed market prices,” noted Hurst. “Finalizing this bill keeps America’s farmers from falling behind as major trade agreements are under negotiation which could open up new markets for our crop. We applaud Reps. Sam Graves, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Ann Wagner and Jason Smith as well as Sens. Blunt and McCaskill for supporting the bill and helping Missouri farmers and businesses grow.”

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