(Washington, DC) – The Grocery Manufacturers Association today praised the Obama administration for sending to Congress legislation on free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. The agreements are critically important to increasing the exports of U.S. food and consumer products, and the Administration has asked the Senate and House to pass the legislation as soon as possible.
“We urge Congress to implement these free trade agreements as soon as possible,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president & CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. “The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry exports $50 billion worth of goods to 215 countries around the globe, generating a $10 billion trade surplus.
“By passing FTAs with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, we will create a level playing field for U.S. products that increase our competitiveness in those countries and help the food, beverage and CPG industry innovate, expand and create new jobs. Our competitors have negotiated their own trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. The European Union’s trade agreement with South Korea went into effect July 1, and a trade agreement between Colombia and Canada became effective Aug. 15.
“The food, beverage and CPG industry is an important cornerstone of the U.S. and global economy and quick passage of these agreements will ensure U.S. goods will not be placed at a competitive disadvantage.”
Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.
Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day. The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders.
In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.