Testifying last week at a hearing by the Senate Agriculture Committee on the Free Trade Agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR), Cal Dooley, President and CEO of the Food Products Association (FPA), stated, “The evidence is clear that this Agreement will provide new market opportunities for US agricultural products, including processed foods and beverages.”
“FPA strongly supports CAFTA-DR,” Dooley said. “Taken together, CAFTA-DR countries represent our 12th largest trading partner. It is estimated that CAFTA-DR could expand US farm exports by $1.5 billion a year.”
Dooley noted, “This Agreement will foster economic stability and regional cooperation. The countries in the CAFTA-DR region are our neighbors and friends, and they want access to high-quality US food products. It is a ready-made market for our country’s food exports.”
“FPA is not alone in its support for CAFTA-DR,” Dooley pointed out. “Support has been voiced by food and agriculture organizations throughout the food chain, from growers to food processors to the retail community.”
Commenting on opposition to CAFTA-DR, Dooley said, “We should not allow the few sectors of our economy unwilling to compete internationally to deny this market opportunity for the vast majority of the US food and agriculture sector willing and eager to compete in the international marketplace.”
Dooley concluded, “The export trade in processed and packaged foods has been a bright light for our nation’s economy, now accounting for more than 40% of US agricultural exports. CAFTA-DR promises to increase the trade in such products, which in turn will lead to growth in production and the creation of new jobs in the United States. FPA urges prompt consideration by the US Senate of this important trade agreement.”
The Food Products Association (FPA) is the largest trade association serving the food and beverage industry in the United States and worldwide. FPA’s laboratory centers, scientists and professional staff provide technical and regulatory assistance to member companies and represent the food industry on scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, food security, nutrition, consumer affairs and international trade.