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Entries in U.S. Agriculture Exports (3)


Terminating NAFTA Would Devastate American Agriculture: The View of a Wheat Farmer

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

November 16, 2017

On average 50% of wheat grown in the United States is exported around the world, making trade a vital market to myself and fellow wheat growers. Our main message in North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) re-negotiations is “Do no harm.”

NAFTA is one of our most important trade agreements. Just last year alone, Mexico was our largest export market with about three million metric tons of wheat and is consistently in the top ten. Prior to NAFTA, U.S. wheat was subject to high tariffs and other trade barriers in Mexico. With zero duties and lifted tariffs, exports to Mexico increased by 400% ten years after implementation of NAFTA, compared to ten years prior to NAFTA.  

While we hope calls for withdraw are just rhetoric, we are taking this threat very seriously. In fact, threats alone have already hurt U.S. wheat. When it comes to commodities, if a customer is unsure of the reliability of their source, they will look to our competitors. Mexico has done just that after a trade mission to Argentina and Brazil in May which led to Mexican millers purchasing Argentina wheat. The first shipment purchased by eight companies will be made in late December and will be 30,000 metric tons of wheat as a trial.


Secretary Perdue announces creation of Undersecretary for Trade

American Journal of Transportation

May 12, 2017

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny PerdueCincinnati, OH - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the creation of an undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a recognition of the ever-increasing importance of international trade to American agriculture. Perdue made the announcement standing by barges filled with agricultural products along the banks of the Ohio River. As part of a reorganization of USDA, Perdue also announced the standing up of a newly-named Farm Production and Conservation mission area to have a customer focus and meet USDA constituents in the field. Finally, Perdue announced that the department’s Rural Development agencies would be elevated to report directly to the secretary of agriculture in recognition of the need to help promote rural prosperity.

Perdue issued a report to announce the changes, which address Congressional direction in the 2014 Farm Bill to create the new undersecretary for trade and also are a down payment on President Trump’s request of his cabinet to deliver plans to improve the accountability and customer service provided by departments.

Read on...


Keeping up with the international competitors: How U.S. infrastructure stacks up


October 10, 2016

This article is the fifth in a seven-part series, “Keeping Rural America Competitive,” that Agri-Pulse is publishing to give readers some perspective on the history and status of America's infrastructure and improvements needed to help farmers and ranchers remain competitive, prosperous and enjoying a strong quality of life.

What is needed to ensure U.S. infrastructure remains robust and helps keep the country competitive in world markets?

The transportation systems in the United States, the world's largest economy, includes such titans that it's easy to be complacent. Consider, for example, that U.S. railroads move 1.9 billion tons of cargo a year, or about a fourth of the world's rail freight.

But while the trucking industry forecasts an encouraging 29 percent increase in truck freight tonnage by 2026, Texas A&M's Urban Mobility Scorecard declares that U.S. car and truck traffic, abetted by cheap fuel, is rebounding past pre-recession levels, and congestion cost drivers 7 billion extra hours in 2015, or about $160 billion in fuel alone. And that's not just a big city problem: For cities of less than 500,000 people, congestion is four times worse than it was in 1982.

Note, too, that the U.S. is far back in the pack of countries developing high-speed passenger trains, with nothing to compare with those running smoothly and safely at 150 to 200 miles per hour in China, Europe, Japan and elsewhere. South Korea recently started service on the first links of its $60 billion campaign to connect its major cities and Seoul's nearby cities in a high-speed passenger train network by 2025, cutting the travel time on the major cross-country routes to as little as a fourth of current commutes.

Other parts of American infrastructure face big hurdles as well to remain competitive. In the West, water supplies and their pumping, transporting, and storage facilities will need a lot of innovation and investment in the years ahead to retain a competitive farming sector while satisfying urban water needs, says Michael Tiboris, water issues analyst for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The length of the extended drought in the Golden State can't be known, but the Southwest appears destined for drier, more volatile weather long term, with less rainfall and less snow in the Sierra Nevada, he says.

 “Almost all the irrigation water in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah goes to field crops and forage to provide feed for animals . . . and over 50 percent of crops in California are for feed and forage” for beef and dairy cattle and other animals. So both the region's big cities and its animal agriculture operations will face increased challenges for water infrastructure, Tiboris says. Fewer grazing acres and animals are most likely even as farmers shift more of their needs to shrinking supplies of groundwater. Read on…