Trade Toolkit

These resources are intended for farmers and grain industry stakeholders to use in their outreach. Questions, comments or suggestions? Email Melissa  Kessler, USGC director of strategic relations, at mkessler@grains.org.

Sharegraphics – visuals you can use in social media are here.

U.S Grains Council Trade Messages and Proof Points

Talking Points – NAFTA for U.S. Grains

  • The U.S. feed grains industry has benefitted substantially from NAFTA.
    Since 1994, U.S. corn exports to these regional partners have increased 300 percent.
  • Prior to the agreement, Mexico maintained strict controls on grains via licensing requirements and provided guaranteed prices to domestic producers of many field crops, including corn. Under NAFTA, Mexico transitioned to a system featuring duty-free trade with the U.S. and Canada and rising demand for feed and food has created new opportunities for intraregional trade in grains.
  • Mexico was the top market for U.S. corn in 2016/2017.
  • Mexico was also the largest customer for U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in 2016/2017.
  • Mexico was a leading buyer of U.S. barley and sorghum in 2016/2017.
  • In 2016, more than 17.3 million metric tons of corn and corn co-producers were exported to Mexico and Canada, valued at $3.2 billion. These exports produced $4.1 billion in economic activity as well as supported 25,000 jobs and 300,000 farms.
  • In 2016, more than 652,000 metric tons of sorghum was exported to Mexico and Canada, valued at $121.2 million. These exports produced $153.9 million in economic activity as well as supported 970 jobs and 20,037 farms.
  • In 2016, more than 64,000 metric tons of barley was exported to Mexico and Canada, valued at $15.2 million. These exports produced $19.3 million in economic activity as well as supported 120 jobs and 18,667 farms.

Talking Points – NAFTA – General

  • Over the past 20 years, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico tripled and quintupled, respectively. One in every 10 acres on American farms is planted to feed hungry Canadian and Mexicans.
  • Rising demand for feed and food has created new opportunities for intraregional trade in grains and oilseeds. Poultry and hog producers in Mexico, for instance, rely heavily in imported feedstuffs as they seek to meet their country’s growing demand for meat.
  • The market share of U.S. total agricultural exports to the world sent to Mexico and Canada has increased 9 percent, from an average of 19 percent (1990-1993) to 28 percent (2013-2016).
  • Between 1993 and 2013, the total value of trade among the U.S., Canada and Mexico expanded from $16.7 billion to $82.0 billion, an increase of 233 percent when inflation is taken into account, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service.
  • Total U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled, growing from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $38.6 billion in 2015.
    U.S. agricultural exports, which are heavily reliant upon the North American market, also support 1,132,000 full-time civilian jobs, including 808,000 jobs in the non-farm sector.
  • Based on a U.S. Department of Agriculture estimate, for every $1 of agricultural exports, another $1.22 is generated in business activity. That is, in 2016 U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico and Canada supported $47 billion in additional business activity.
  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the processed food industry across North America translates into additional sales of U.S. agricultural products, further supporting American jobs. In 2012, majority-owned affiliates of U.S. multinational food companies had sales of $32.4 billion in Canada and $13.8 billion in Mexico, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • Between 1993-2015, trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico quadrupled, from $927 billion to $1.14 trillion.

Talking Points – KORUS for U.S. Grains

  • The United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) has equaled huge success for U.S. feed grains in all forms since the agreement went into effect in 2012.
  • U.S. goods and services trade with South Korea totaled an estimated $144.6 billion in 2016.
  • U.S. total agricultural products exported to Korea totaled $6.2 billion in 2016, which makes them the United States’ fifth largest agricultural export market.
    In the 20165/20176 marketing year, exports of feed grains in all forms to South Korea saw 85.32 million metric tons (207 million bushels).
  • South Korea set a six-year high for U.S. corn imports at 5.6 million metric tons (220 million bushels) in 2016/2017, jumping to the third largest buyer of U.S. corn for the marketing year.
  • South Korea was also the third largest buyer of U.S. DDGS in 2016/2017, reaching a record for the second year in a row for imports of U.S. DDGS at 979,000 metric tons, a 19 percent increase year-over-year.
  • South Korea has set a new high for DDGS imports each year since 2006/2007.
  • South Korea was also the sixth fourth largest market for U.S. barley in 2016/2017.

Talking Points – General

  • In 2016, U.S. food and agricultural exports reached more than $135 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, supporting more than 1 million American jobs and accounting for more than 32 percent of gross farm income.
  • In 2016, U.S. agricultural exports to FTA partner countries accounted for 42 percent of total U.S. agricultural exports, according to USDA data.
  • In 2016, U.S. exports of coarse grains and co-products to current FTA partners accounted for 50 percent of worldwide exports, according to USDA data.

Elevator Speech on Ag Trade

  • The flow of goods, ideas, capital and people is essential for prosperity.
  • 95.7% of the world’s population lives outside the U.S.
  • More than 97% of the anticipated population growth over the next 35 years will take place outside of U.S. borders.
  • Agriculture is the U.S. foreign trade champion.
  • The United States has negotiated trade agreements with 20 countries since the end of World War II, including that which established the World Trade Organization. In calendar year 2015, U.S. agricultural exports to these countries account for 43 percent of total U.S. agricultural exports, according to USDA data.
  • Failing to move forward on trade means falling behind.
  • When trade works, the world wins!