MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. and DECATUR, ILLINOIS, U.S. — Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) said on Oct. 13 that passage by U.S. Congress of the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Colombia and Panama marks a significant milestone in U.S. trade history.

Cargill said it believes the FTAs will pay economic dividends as well as help improve living standards across the globe.

By eliminating tariffs and opening market access, the new FTAs will usher in greater opportunity for American workers, manufacturers, farmers and ranchers to increase their market share, Cargill said. Additionally, the elimination of trade barriers through these FTAs, will help address food security needs by lowering prices for consumers in these markets and by making it easier for food to flow across borders.

"These FTAs represent sound policy that is good for farmers, workers, manufacturers and business and will benefit the U.S. economy," said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer. "With these agreements in place, we now look forward to additional regional and multilateral agreements to help further benefit our global marketplace."

ADM said the agreements will lead to enhanced U.S. competiveness and increased U.S. exports to dynamic and growing markets in Asia and Latin America. They will further the Obama Administration’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2014 — bolstering economic growth and creating jobs. The agreements will be particularly significant for the agricultural sector, where they represent an estimated $2.5 billion in new exports and support for up to 22,500 jobs.

“Passage of the free trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama is a significant step forward in reaching the National Export Initiative’s goal of doubling exports by 2014,” said Patricia A. Woertz, ADM chairman and chief executive officer and a member of the President’s Export Council. “On behalf of ADM, I applaud the bipartisan congressional effort, which led to quick consideration and passage of the agreements after President Obama submitted them to Congress last week. We urge the president to sign these FTAs into law quickly so that American farmers can enjoy the benefits of increased access to these growing markets as soon as possible.”