The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers issued a joint statement supporting the decision to send three pending free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama to Congress for approval. The groups say the U.S. poultry and egg industries have strongly supported these negotiations since they concluded more than four years ago.

The three FTAs could generate almost $1.4 billion in additional U.S. poultry and egg exports annually, say the groups. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture calculations, the industry’s current annual exports of nearly $4.4 billion support more than 50,400 U.S. jobs, and every additional 1 billion dollars in U.S. poultry and egg exports could mean 11,525 American jobs throughout the economy.

The U.S.-Korea FTA would improve market access for U.S. poultry and egg exports to South Korea, mostly by duty reduction and elimination. The U.S.-Colombia FTA would cut duties, eliminate variable duties and give the U.S. a 27,040-metric ton tariff rate quota at zero duty with 4% annual growth for chicken leg quarters. The U.S.-Panama FTA would eliminate duties on some poultry products within five years and establishes a preferential duty-free TRQ for chicken leg quarters that starts at 660 metric tons and grows each year by a 10% compound rate.