The National Corn Growers Association praised passage of the free trade agreements in the House and Senate.

The White House transmitted the FTAs with Korea, Colombia and Panama to Congress last week.

“The three free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama provide great opportunities for America’s farmers,” NCGA President Garry Niemeyer, a corn farmer from Auburn, Ill., said.

“Passage by Congress ensures our industry continues to lead the nation in economic growth and international competitiveness. In addition, this action shows members of Congress understand the importance of the FTAs to rural America.”

Statistics show passage of the three FTAs could create 250,000 American jobs and add an additional $13 billion annually in exports. The United States continues to be the largest producer and exporter of corn in the world, exporting 50.4 million metric tons last year.

Since the EU-Korea trade agreement went into effect July 1, European exports to Korea have increased 36 percent from a year earlier. U.S. farmers have already lost more than $1 billion in sales to Colombia in the two years since that country implemented a trade deal with Argentina and Brazil.

The Colombia-Canada Free Trade Agreement that took effect Aug. 15 has also put U.S. workers and farmers at a disadvantage.

“Prior to Congress’ passage of the FTAs, farmers watched as other nations received access to markets over the United States,” Niemeyer said. “We need to keep and create jobs in America. The FTAs will help us achieve that.”