After nearly five years of advocacy, California farmers and ranchers can expect a long-standing boost in export opportunities after President Obama recently signed free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. The agreements reduce or eliminate tariffs for many agricultural products, and the California Farm Bureau Federation says that will lead to additional jobs as more California-grown products move to export customers.
“We welcome the president’s signature on these long-awaited agreements,” California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger says. “These trade agreements will create jobs in both rural and urban California. Reducing export barriers will also allow more people to benefit from the bounty of California.”
Big Boost For California Products
The agreements are expected to boost export sales of California farm products by $239 million per year and offer $2.5 billion in additional farm exports for the nation as a whole.
The agreements will reduce barriers in the three nations for a wide variety of California-grown farm products, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, beef and wine. Wenger noted that producers of some other California crops have expressed concerns about the agreements.
“Farm Bureau supports a plan by California flower growers to earn federal funding for a transportation and logistics center that would reduce their shipping costs and help California-grown flowers stay competitive,” Wenger says.
California Farm Bureau provided information for this report.