trade advisory

Agriculture Groups Pushing for More Trade Opportunities

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Exports/Imports, Trade

Nearly two dozen agricultural organizations are encouraging the development of new trade opportunities. A letter was sent imploring 2024 presidential candidates to focus on improving market access for ag products. The groups suggest a more enthusiastic approach to free trade agreements (FTAs).

Trade Opportunities

“For decades, America sold more food and agricultural products to other countries than it imported. This year, however, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting we will run a food and agriculture trade deficit of $17 billion: This is a wake-up call,” the organizations point out in the letter. “A continued emphasis on free and fair trade is vital to ensuring U.S. farmers and ranchers can grow and export enough food, feed, fiber, and fuel to supply the global marketplace.”

Signatories of the letter include the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Almond Alliance, Farmers for Free Trade, and International Fresh Produce Association. The groups highlight the importance of diversifying export markets for American agriculture to not have such significant reliance on China. Last year, more than $38 billion in food and ag products were exported to China which accounts for approximately 20 percent of all ag exports.

The organizations note that it has been more than 10 years since the U.S. negotiated a new FTA while other countries continue engaging in new bilateral trade deals. This year alone the UK has entered into a new FTA with Australia and a deal has also been developed between Ecuador and China. The organizations stress the need for the U.S. to prioritize new FTAs to provide more trade opportunities for American farmers. “Such agreements could protect American workers and the environment, help contain China’s growing geopolitical influence, and open new export markets for our farmers by meaningfully reducing and eliminating tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers,” the groups point out.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West