This week during The Ag Minute, Chairman Frank Lucas discusses the economic boost the trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea will provide to rural communities. The agreements will put America's farmers and ranchers in a better position to compete globally, expand U.S. exports, create jobs, and bring much-needed income to communities across rural America. The House of Representatives will vote on the agreements this week.
"This week the House is set to vote on three trade agreements which are critical to communities throughout America. In a time of economic uncertainty, it's important that we provide opportunities for our economy to grow and thrive.
"These agreements create direct benefits for agriculture, which is one of the most trade-dependent industries in the U.S. today. Overall, exports account for more than 25 percent of total U.S. agriculture sales. These agreements will boost sales by opening more than $2.5 billion in new market access.
"But the benefits spread far beyond the farm. They will stimulate growth across the country in our towns, cities, and ports.
"U.S. agricultural exports generate employment, income, and purchasing power on and off the farm. According to USDA, exports support approximately 1 million jobs in agriculture, trade, transportation, food processing, and other manufacturing sectors.
"The bottom line: a vote for these agreements is a vote for rural America."
The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.