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Growing Trade OpportunitiesPosted Tuesday, November 27, 2012, at 11:52 AM
Last week the House of Representatives took action to create new overseas markets for American exports and generate jobs here at home. Democrats and Republicans joined together with a bipartisan vote to normalize trade relations with Russia and Moldova.
With ninety-five percent of the world's consumers living outside of the United States, it only makes sense to open new markets for goods made here in Arkansas and around the country. Family farmers and entrepreneurs are looking to grow our stagnant economy. These new international markets can play a prominent role in growing Arkansas businesses and farms to ultimately hire new workers and get our economy moving.
Thanks to action taken by the House of Representatives, poultry producers in Arkansas have the tremendous opportunity to expand their market reach. Russia currently buys $300 million worth of American poultry products each year. Now that trade has been normalized with Russia, exports are expected to double in coming years. Chicken and turkey production represents an important sector of Arkansas's agriculture-based economy and farm families in our state will benefit from being able to sell their products more freely.
As co-chair of the Congressional Chicken Caucus I strive to find new markets and new methods for farm families in our state to grow their operations. Also, I work with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to build consensus around issues that will have an impact on the chicken industry in the United States. Last week I used the Chicken Caucus as an avenue to explain the need for normalizing trade with Russia and Moldova. By giving actual examples of the industries that will benefit from increased trade opportunities I was able to help build bipartisan support for the trade normalizing legislation.
Our economy is beginning to show signs of growth. The new trade relationships with Russia and Moldova have the great potential to bolster Arkansas's economy. Exporting our goods provides a direct flow of capital back into our rural communities and is a critical source of income to revitalize small-town economies. New overseas markets will be vital to for renewing our economy and creating American jobs -- particularly in rural areas.
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Representative Rick Crawford serves the First District of Arkansas
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