FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 4, 2017
Contact: Chuck Lippstreu, Byrum & Fisk Communications
Ag Leaders: KORUS withdrawal would cause needless harm to Michigan agriculture
LANSING - The Agricultural Leaders of Michigan (ALM) today joined the growing chorus of American farm, commodity and agribusiness organizations warning that a U.S. withdrawal from the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) would be a devastating blow to America’s agriculture sector.
The coalition of seven Michigan commodity and agribusiness organizations directed the following policy statement to the Trump Administration following reports that the administration plans to withdraw the U.S. from KORUS:
“We strongly urge the Trump Administration not to withdraw the United States from the successful KORUS agreement that has greatly expanded U.S. agricultural exports to South Korea and created good jobs in Michigan.
Given South Korea’s important status as a top export destination for U.S. agricultural products, withdrawing the United States from the KORUS agreement would be a grave strategic error, causing economic damage to agriculture in Michigan and throughout the nation while opening the door for our competitors to undermine U.S. agriculture abroad.
Michigan is among the most diverse agricultural states in the country, and virtually all aspects of our agriculture sector will be impacted by a KORUS withdrawal in a significant and harmful way. ”
When KORUS entered into effect on March 5, 2012 it immediately removed duties on two-thirds of U.S. agricultural trade, exponentially increasing U.S. competitiveness in the South Korean market. In 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agriculture Service, South Korea was the sixth-largest destination for American agricultural products in 2016, and fueled by the trade agreement, U.S. agricultural exports to South Korea more than doubled from 2006-2016.
Dairy and pork product exports have seen massive new opportunities emerge as a result of KORUS, and those exports bolster demand at home for corn, soybeans and other grain and feed products. In addition, as a leading producer of potatoes used for snack foods that are widely popular throughout Asia, Michigan’s potato industry directly benefits from KORUS and other efforts to break down trade barriers in Asia.
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Agricultural Leaders of Michigan is a coalition of agricultural, commodity and agribusiness leaders committed to promoting Michigan agriculture, participating in the ongoing dialogue about issues affecting our state, and harnessing agriculture’s power and potential to further grow Michigan’s economy. The coalition is made up of GreenStone Farm Credit Services; Michigan Agri-Business Association; Michigan Corn Growers Association; Michigan Milk Producers Association; Michigan Pork Producers Association; Michigan Soybean Association; and Potato Growers of Michigan, Inc. Learn more at www.agleadersmi.com.
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