Ag Exports in Spotlight
October 4, 2013

Ag exports are in the spotlight, in a good way, in a new report released by the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. 
 
The report, "The Economic Contribution of America's Farmers and the Importance of Agricultural Exports," available at www.jec.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=266a0bf3-5142-4545-b806-ef9fd78b9c2f, notes that the United States is the world's leading exporter of agricultural products, with a record $141.3 billion exported in 2012 and a $38.5 billion trade surplus for the year for the agriculture sector, noted a release from the U.S. Meat Export Federation. 
 
And while agriculture has accounted for less than 5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product from 2007 through 2011, agriculture products, as a share of total exports, hovered around 10 percent. 
 
The report also notes that agricultural exporters often are subject to trade barriers. 
 
"Despite some progress, average agricultural tariffs remain substantially higher than those imposed on other products," the report noted. "Moreover, unpredictable and unscientific applications of sanitary and phytosanitary measures can create a significant burden for exporters, in particular for producers and processors of meat products." 
 
The report recommends actions that Congress can take to facilitate export opportunities for America's farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers, including:
 
enacting a long-term Farm Bill to provide a certainty for U.S. agriculture;
pushing for provisions that reduce barriers to agricultural exports; and
promoting export opportunities for small and beginning farmers, ranchers and processors.
Reprinted from meatingplace.com