In recognition of World Trade Week this week, the American Soybean Association (ASA), which represents growers of the nation’s largest agricultural export commodity, urged Congress and the White House to continue expanding and exploring trade relationships with foreign partners. ASA President and Iowa farmer Ray Gaesser issued the following statement:
“In 2013, soybean farmers exported a record 1.58 billion bushels of soybeans at a value of almost $28 billion, making soy America’s leading farm export. Our robust trading partnerships help to create a positive agricultural trade balance and sustain valuable jobs for millions of our neighbors in a broad range of industries here at home.
“Because of its importance to soybean farmers, trade is at the top of ASA’s long list of policy priorities. In the coming months, we’ll have an opportunity to tackle big challenges domestically that—if done thoroughly and thoughtfully—will allow us to continue our success abroad. These challenges include the extension of Trade Promotion Authority, and the crafting of the Trans-Pacific Partnership with the Pacific Rim, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union in such a way that enables our farmers to succeed by not placing American agricultural imports at an unfair disadvantage.
“As farmers, each of us feeds 155 people—more than at any point in history—but we recognize that in today’s global economy, those 155 people may be on the other side of the world. We call on Congress and the White House this week and every week to pursue agreements that will enable us to continue to create U.S. jobs by providing for our customers in communities around the world.”