The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its fourth Outlook for U.S. Agriculture Trade in fiscal year 2013 Thursday. USDA projects $139.5 billion in agricultural exports in FY 2013, which if realized would be a new record. Since 2009, U.S. agricultural exports have climbed from $96.3 billion in 2009 to the most-recent forecast of $139.5 billion.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement:
“Today’s report is promising news that keeps American agriculture on track to continue the strongest period of exports in our nation’s history. Agricultural exports are an important part of our economy, supporting more than one million jobs – and as a part of President Obama’s National Export Initiative to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014, USDA has worked hard to open new markets for quality U.S. agricultural products. We’ve helped achieve new trade agreements with countries around the world, helped organic producers export more products through new equivalency agreements, broken down hundreds of unfair barriers to trade, and utilized trade promotion programs that have helped more than 1,000 U.S. businesses and organizations promote agricultural products abroad. Today, we’re looking ahead to the next big achievements – particularly a Trans-Pacific Partnership with Asian nations, and a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.
We must continue working to strengthen markets and opportunity in American agriculture. That’s one reason why it is important that Congress achieve passage of a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible. Trade promotion efforts provided by the current Farm Bill have been extremely valuable for U.S. producers. A long-term Food, Farm and Jobs Bill would continue these programs, enabling USDA to keep working with producers and businesses to promote their quality products around the world. This is an important step to further increase agricultural exports from the United States and create more good jobs here at home. As we continue our efforts to strengthen agricultural trade, USDA will keep working hard to help Congress pass a multiyear, comprehensive bill as soon as possible.”