WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade today. USDA projects that Fiscal Year 2013 agricultural exports will reach $140 billion, which if realized would be a new record.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on this news:
"Driven by the productivity of U.S. farmers and ranchers, we have achieved five years of positive momentum for agricultural exports and today's forecast is another promising development. Agricultural exports have a real impact on Main Street and beyond, supporting more than one million good jobs here at home. We're counting on Congress to help keep up this momentum. With just a few weeks left before expiration of many Farm Bill programs – including trade promotion programs that return $35 in economic benefits for every dollar invested – producers and rural communities need passage of a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible. This would enable USDA to continue trade promotion, and carry out a wide variety of additional efforts to support a productive U.S. agriculture sector. At the same time, America's farmers and ranchers need a reliable and stable agricultural workforce to keep up production. Passage of the commonsense immigration reform measure, which was already approved by a bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate, would further strengthen American agriculture and help put our nation on solid footing to maintain strong exports in the years to come.
At USDA we intend to build on the record agricultural trade already achieved in the Obama Administration. We will continue breaking down barriers to U.S. products and working toward new agreements to expand exports, including a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union and a Trans-Pacific Partnership with Asian nations."