It seemed a long shot a few months ago, but it now appears Congress can simultaneously take up three trade agreements extremely important to America's pork producers.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk signaled completion of the trifecta Monday, when he announced Panama has satisfied U.S. concerns and that the Obama administration is preparing to send the agreement to Congress. The Panama deal will join already concluded agreements with Colombia and South Korea on the congressional agenda.
Together, the three long-pending agreements will generate more than $770 million in additional U.S. pork exports annually. That will increase hog prices by more than $11 per animal and create more than 10,000 pork industry jobs.
Two weeks ago, NPPC urged the administration to send all three free trade agreements to Congress as soon as possible and asked Congress to approve them before its August recess.