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Exports crucial to business future
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Dear Editor,
When you realize that 95 percent of the worlds consumers live outside our borders, it is clear that international trade is vital to a vibrant U.S. economy.
Trade supports American jobs  plain and simple.
Agricultural exports alone supported about 1.1 million American jobs last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture  farmers, ranchers, truckers, exporters and more. 
Every $1 billion in agricultural exports supports over 8,400 jobs.
The entire U.S. economy depends on trade, but particularly agriculture.
We export 15 percent of our corn production, 45 percent of soybeans, 27 percent of pork and 14 percent of beef.
Kansas ranked sixth in the nation in FY 2009 with $4.7 billion in ag exports. 
And there’s real opportunities to increase exports, creating more jobs.
Free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama have languished for years.
While China, the European Union and others are working aggressively to secure trade and investment partners, the U.S. has stalled, losing valuable market share. 
For example, a new EU-South Korea FTA puts European producers in a more competitive position than U.S. agricultural exporters.
These FTAs offer great potential to expand agricultural exports.
The USDA estimates they would boost U.S. agricultural exports $1.9 billion, $371 million and $46 million, respectively, per year after full implementation. 
Another 19,463 jobs created.
The approval of FTAs with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will help protect U.S. market share with key trading partners, expand exports and create new American jobs.
That is a formula for economic stimulus any voter would support.
Keith Miller
U.S. Meat Export Federation,
Great Bend