The American Soybean Association (ASA) appreciated President Barack Obama’s remarks on several of ASA’s top legislative priorities during his 2011 State of the Union address.

President Obama encouraged job creation by doubling exports, passing the pending Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), expanding the use of renewable energy, and improving America’s infrastructure.

“The American Soybean Association noted President Obama’s commitment to supporting the U.S. economy and job creation through increasing exports, expanding the use of renewable energy and increasing funding for infrastructure improvements,” said ASA President Alan Kemper, a soybean farmer from Lafayette, Ind. “These issues are top priorities for ASA, and we will continue to work with both parties in Congress as well as the Administration to achieve them.”

President Obama reaffirmed his National Export Initiative goal of doubling exports in the next five years, saying, “Last month, we finalized a trade agreement with South Korea that will support at least 70,000 American jobs… and I ask this Congress to pass it as soon as possible.”

ASA believes that efforts to achieve the goal of creating more U.S. jobs and the doubling of exports will require Congressional approval of the pending FTAs with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, and renewal of Presidential Trade Promotion Authority to enable the negotiation of new FTAs with key importing countries.

“U.S. soybeans and soy product exports had a total value of more than $21 billion for the 2009-10 marketing year, making the U.S. soybean industry the largest positive commodity contributor to the national trade balance,” Kemper said. “Just last week a visiting delegation of companies from China signed contracts to purchase $6.68 billion worth of U.S. soybeans in 2011.”