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California Farm Organization Supports Free Trade Agreements

Aired 10/12/11 on KPBS News.

The California Farm Bureau Federation has been pushing for the three trade agreements that are up for Congressional votes later Wednesday.

The California Farm Bureau Federation has been pushing for the three trade agreements that are up for Congressional votes later Wednesday. Josh Rolph is the Director of National Affairs with the statewide agriculture organization. He said the agreement with South Korea represents the largest potential market for California growers. But he said the deals with Panama and Colombia would provide more equal opportunities.

“Right now, ninety-nine percent of their products come into the US duty free and this is a matter of leveling the playing field where we will be able to export our products there duty-free over a period of time,” said Rolph.

The Federation said the agreements would increase California farm exports by nearly two hundred and forty million dollars a year. But because rice was excluded from the deal with South Korea, the California Rice Commission refused to support that measure.

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