Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on the Latest Quarterly Agricultural Trade ForecastFri, 27 May 2016 17:45:35 CDT
American farmers and ranchers continue to compete and win in foreign markets. Even in today’s environment of lower commodity prices, abundant global supplies and a strong U.S. dollar, exports remain a key pillar supporting U.S. agriculture and rural communities. Today’s quarterly agricultural trade forecast shows the resilience of our agricultural sector despite the economic headwinds. Export volumes continue to post near-record totals across many key products.
Oilseed and product exports are forecast at $26.1 billion, up $700 million, and grain and feed exports are forecast at $27.7 billion, up $500 million from the February forecast. The report also underscores the importance of creating new export opportunities for our producers by knocking down tariffs and opening new markets through free trade agreements.
Exports comprise 20 percent of U.S. farm income, drive rural economic activity, and support more than one million American jobs. We have the opportunity to expand those benefits even further through passage of new trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A report published by the International Trade Commission just last week shows that the TPP will significantly expand U.S. exports to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and add an additional $10 billion to annual U.S. agricultural output by 2032.
Trade agreements such as the TPP are key to a stable and prosperous farm economy. They can help boost global demand for U.S. farm and food products, increase U.S. market share versus our competitors in key markets, and ensure that our farmers and ranchers have stable and predictable markets for the quality goods they produce. Congress should move quickly to approve the TPP.
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