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News Archive

Month: December 2017

Farmers for Free Trade Applauds Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson for Agriculture Trade Awareness Day Proclamation

Baucus and Lugar-led campaign is working with Arkansas Farm Bureau to protect Arkansas ag trade which supports over 105,000 state jobs

(Washington D.C.) – Farmers for Free Trade and the Arkansas Farm Bureau today applauded Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson for proclaiming December 8th Agriculture Trade Awareness Day in Arkansas. Farmers for Free Trade is a bipartisan campaign, co-chaired by former Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) working to rebuild bipartisan support for trade at the grassroots level.

Farmers for Free Trade is currently working in states across the country, including Arkansas to engage state government, rural community leaders, and farmers and ranchers on the importance of opening global markets for U.S. agriculture. That engagement includes education, organization, and advocacy efforts.

Farmers for Free Trade has prioritized work at the grassroots level in Arkansas because of the state’s dependence on access to foreign markets, particularly NAFTA partners. 32% of Arkansas goods exports, more $1.8 billion in 2016 went to either Canada or Mexico.  That includes annual Arkansas NAFTA exports totaling nearly 167 million in poultry and eggs, over 127 million in meat products, and nearly 82 million in grain exports. Estimates show that over 105,000 Arkansas jobs are supported by trade with NAFTA partners.

“In Arkansas, trade is what helps sustain so many hard working farmers and ranchers,” said Senator Max Baucus Co-Chair of Farmers for Free Trade. “Agriculture trade helps keep farmers afloat at a time when domestic farm incomes are in decline, helps boost the Arkansas economy, and helps feed the world. Farmers for Free Trade’s mission is to ensure that the Arkansas farmers who put food on the table have a seat at the table when trade policy decisions are being made. Senator Lugar and I applaud Governor Hutchinson for proclaiming Agriculture Trade Awareness Day and for his recognition of the benefits trade provides to the agricultural community across Arkansas.”

The full text of Governor Hutchinson’s proclamation follows:

TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS COME – GREETINGS:

WHEREAS: Arkansas farmers and ranchers help provide food and fiber for the world, fuel our economy, and lead global markets in output and productivity. The efficiency of modern agriculture has provided this country with surpluses and opportunities beyond imagination; and

WHEREAS: Agricultural exports are Arkansas’s largest export category with more than $3.3 billion in exports including: soybeans and soybean products ($1 billion), rice and processed foods ($768 million), broilers ($344 million) and forest and paper products ($312 million); and

WHEREAS: The State of Arkansas is home to many businesses that have benefitted significantly from trade with Canada and Mexico, our state’s #1 and #2 trading partners, seeing a 400% increase to overall exports to both Canada and Mexico; and

WHEREAS: Arkansas exports $1.4 billion in goods to Canada annually, and trade with Canada supports nearly 67,000 Arkansas jobs; and

WHEREAS: Exports from Arkansas to Mexico are growing 3 .6 times faster than exports to any other country, seeing an incredible 700 percent increase in our exports to Mexico since NAFTA began; and

WHEREAS: Arkansas is one of the few states in the nation that enjoys a net trade surplus with both countries. Furthermore, our state benefits from significant foreign direct investment from Mexico and Canada, employing nearly 50,000 Arkansans and strengthening our timber, paper, and processed food industries; and

WHEREAS: Arkansas’s thriving agriculture sector provides jobs across our state, not just for farmers and ranchers, but for scientists, processors, shippers, trucking and retailers;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ASA HUTCHINSON, Governor of the State of Arkansas, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the laws of the State of Arkansas, do hereby proclaim December 8th, 2017 as
AGRICULTURE TRADE AWARENESS DAY across the State, and I encourage all Arkansans to observe this day by recognizing the role that agriculture and cross-border commerce play in our lives, as well as their value as our country considers international trade agreements.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Arkansas to be affixed this 8th day of December, in the year of our Lord 2017.

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National Pork Producers Council Announces Support for Farmers for Free Trade

U.S. pork producers’ voice on policy and advocacy joins growing bipartisan effort to rebuild grassroots support for trade policies that benefit farmers and ranchers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the global voice for the U.S. pork industry and leader on public-policy issues for America’s 60,000 pork producers, announced its support for Farmers for Free Trade.

Farmers for Free Trade is a bipartisan campaign co-chaired by former Senators Max Baucus and Richard Lugar that is working to rebuild support for trade at the grassroots level. The National Pork Producers Council joins the American Farm Bureau Federation and other agriculture trade and commodity groups that are partnering with Farmers for Free Trade to strengthen support for trade in rural communities.

NPPC is proud to get behind this bipartisan effort to build a sustainable network of support for trade among our nation’s farmers and ranchers,” said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “Exports are vital to the financial livelihoods of pork producers. We need help getting the word out more broadly in rural America that trade generates jobs and prosperity.

“We look forward to working with our friends in many other sectors of American agriculture as well as with Farmers for Free Trade to get out the message that rural America benefits from trade.”

“The support of the National Pork Producers Council is a huge boost for our bipartisan effort,” said Senator Baucus. “Not only because they’ll help us reach pork producers across the country, but also because they’ve long led the fight for smart trade policies that help American farmers. The Pork Producers understand that rebuilding bipartisan support for trade on Capitol Hill requires first reestablishing consensus at home among the American people. With the support of the Pork Producers we’re going to continue to organize, educate and mobilize farmers whose livelihoods depend on trade.”

“Momentum behind this effort continues to grow,” said Senator Lugar. “With the support of groups like the Pork Producers and the Farm Bureau, we are going to ramp up our efforts at the state and district level. This effort is more needed than ever in order to help alleviate the decline in farm incomes by opening new export markets and safeguarding access to the markets we have.”

Farmers for Free Trade is currently working at the grassroots level to organize and educate farmers about the importance of trade, including through work at state commodity conventions, through state proclamations, by reaching farmers through social media, and by identifying local spokespeople, among other efforts. Senators Baucus and Lugar outlined some of the key policy priorities that will help rebuild bipsartisan support for trade in an op-ed earlier this year.

Farmers for Free Trade Applauds Arizona Governor Doug Ducey for Agriculture Trade Awareness Day Proclamation

Bipartisan coalition rebuilding grassroots support for trade supports Arizona Gov’s effort to highlight trade’s importance in supporting Arizona jobs, opening new markets and supporting economic growth

(Washington D.C.) – Today, Farmers for Free Trade applauded Arizona Governor Doug Ducey for proclaiming December 4th, 2017 Agriculture Trade Awareness Day across Arizona. Farmers for Free Trade is a bipartisan campaign, co-chaired by former Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) working to rebuild bipartisan support for trade at the grassroots level. Farmers for Free Trade is currently working in states across the country to engage state government, rural community leaders, and farmers and ranchers on the importance of opening global markets for U.S. agriculture. That engagement includes education, organization, and advocacy efforts.

Farmers for Free Trade has focused recent efforts in Arizona because of the importance of trade and global supply chains to the state’s economy. Arizona currently exports over $22 billion to foreign markets. Of that, nearly half of all exports go to NAFTA countries, with 38% of exports going to Mexico. Estimates show that 236,000 Arizona jobs are supported by NAFTA trade alone.

“Arizona farmers and ranchers livelihoods depend on global trade,” said Senator Max Baucus. “The bounty of vegetables, livestock and grains they produce feed millions and help boost the state’s economy. That’s why it’s so important that they have a voice in trade policy discussions that will impact their bottom line. Farmers for Free Trade’s mission is to ensure that the people who put food on the table have a seat at the table when these policy decisions are being made,”

“Senator Lugar and I applaud Governor Ducey for recognizing the tremendous impact Arizona farmers and ranchers have in the global market and the contribution trade makes to his state’s economy. We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Ducey and farmers and ranchers across Arizona.”

The full text of today’s proclamation follows:

Agriculture Trade Awareness Day, December 4, 2017

– – – – – – –

 

GOVERNOR DOUGLAS A. DUCEY

STATE OF ARIZONA PROCLAMATION

Whereas, Arizona’s farmers and ranchers help feed the world, fuel our economy, and lead global markets in output and productivity.  The efficiency of modern agriculture has provided this country with surpluses and opportunities beyond imagination; and

Whereas, statistics from the International Trade Administration show that Mexico is Arizona’s biggest trading partner, with the state sending $8.3 billion in exports there in 2016, while exporting $2 billion in goods to Canada, our second-largest trading partner; and

Whereas, in 2013, Arizona’s Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance, convened by the Arizona Department of Transportation, Arizona-Mexico Commission, Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Office of Tourism, and comprising public and private sector economic stakeholder groups, recommended that the state should aim to double its trade with Mexico by 2025 to $25 billion in two-way trade; and

Whereas, The AriSon Megaregion Council presents opportunities to address the need to think regionally along the border; and

Whereas, Arizona’s thriving agriculture sector contributes more than $23 billion annually in sales to our state and thousands of jobs across our state, not just for farmers and ranchers, but for scientists, processors, shippers, trucking and retailers.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Douglas A. Ducey, Governor of the State of Arizona, do hereby proclaim December 4, 2017, as Agriculture Trade and Awareness Day and I encourage all Arizonans to recognize the role that agriculture and cross-border trade plays in our lives.

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