Four years of trade benefits for U.S. farmers, ranchers and food processors have been forfeited because of inaction on pending free-trade agreements (FTAs) with Korea, Colombia and Panama, and what once were fears about inaction are now sad realties, says American Meat Institute (AMI) President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle.

Boyle noted that Australia is aggressively working to beat the U.S. to the finish line and sign an FTA with Korea, ensuring that exports of Australian meat products and other agricultural goods will have immediate market-access advantage over U.S. products in the Korean market.

He also noted that the European Union's (EU) FTA with Korea was implemented July 1, 2011, and the U.S. could be completely shut out of this pork market in 10 years if we don't act soon.

Colombia is also on the verge of implementing FTAs with Canada (set to go into effect Aug. 15 and the EU. Other major agricultural exporting countries, such as Argentina and Brazil, already have preferential access to that market.

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