WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Citing the importance of achieving fast track authority in order to finalize new trade deals as seamlessly as possible, the farmer leaders of the American Soybean Association (ASA) announced on May 19 that the group will oppose all controversial amendments to the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act, which would extend trade promotion authority to President Barack Obama.
“This bill is one that Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden put a painstaking number of hours into, and the result is legislation that represents a broad range of interests. There is enough here to bring lawmakers of all stripes to the table, and we believe the clearest path to passage is one that involves a bill with no controversial amendments that make it harder or in some cases impossible for lawmakers to support the legislation,” said ASA President Wade Cowan.
More than any other commodity, soybean farmers’ success domestically is tied to markets overseas. More than half of the U.S. soybean crop is exported, and in 2014, the U.S. exported roughly $30.5 billion in soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil. Moreover, the export share of annual U.S. soy production has grown steadily. Between 2000 and 2010, the value of U.S. oilseed and product exports more than doubled, from $9 billion to over $20 billion.