Trade Expansion: Long-term driver of Ag Sector Growth

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Agriculture is one of America’s most dynamic export sectors – proof that our nation is an effective competitor and relationship builder in the global economy.

The Council has helped the U.S. capture two-thirds of world sorghum exports, dominate global trade in corn, solidify new marketing channels for barley and barley malt and develop a fast-growing world market for distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) that accompanies the spectacular growth of the domestic ethanol market.

Fifteen percent of the annual U.S. corn crop, 42 percent of sorghum and 20 percent of DDGS are now exported. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, agriculture exports reached a record $137.4 billion in 2011 and imports totaled $94.5 billion. This $42.9 billion trade surplus is the largest in U.S. history.

USDA estimates that exports account for 26-30 percent of annual farm cash receipts. These agricultural sales create a ripple effect for the economy through processing, packaging, financing, shipping and other downstream support services.

As the global marketing arm of U.S. farmers and agribusinesses, and a trusted ambassador for free and fair trade between U.S. agriculture and customers around the world, the Council believes that expansion of established export markets and development of new markets will drive the success of American agriculture for years to come.