U.S. Grains Council Directors warn that without free trade agreements between the U.S. and markets in Latin America and Southeast Asia the U.S. risks losing export competitiveness. Speaking during the Council's 7th International Marketing Conference, USGC Regional Director in Panama Kurt Schultz said the fact that pending deals with Colombia and Panama have not been ratified is one of the biggest threats facing the U.S.
According to Schultz Colombia is the largest market for U.S. corn in the region and holds great export potential due to its expanding livestock, swine and poultry industries. But until a free trade agreement is ratified he says the United States will be at a disadvantage. A similar warning came from the Council's Regional Director in Southeast Asia Adel Yusopov. Yusopov said the U.S. is long overdue in recognizing the economic significance of Southeast Asia and its potential for U.S. ag exports.