The National Corn Growers Association is urging Congress to preserve the 90-day timetable under which the Colombia free trade agreement was negotiated.

Under trade promotion authority granted to the president by Congress, lawmakers have 90 days to approve or reject the trade pact, without consideration of any amendment. On April 7, President Bush sent Congress a letter implementing legislation for the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement.

“The Colombia free trade agreement should be considered and voted upon this year, and not sidelined due to procedural maneuvering,” said NCGA President Ron Litterer. ”This agreement is good for U.S. agriculture and corn growers. Let’s have the agreement in front of Congress fair and square — on its own merits.”

The Colombia trade promotion authority would provide immediate access to Colombia’s market for 2.1 million metric tons of corn at zero duty. The U.S. feed grain industry will benefit from immediate duty free access to the Colombian market for distillers dried grains and corn gluten feed/meal.

NCGA estimates that U.S. corn dried distillers grains production will reach more than 31 million tons by 2010-11.