USDA is committed to addressing the challenges of international trade, and providing solutions. As we look forward to USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, Feb. 19-20, 2015, in Arlington, Virginia, speakers and attendees will have the opportunity to discuss relevant issues on a wide range of international as well as domestic topics.
We live in a world where domestic agriculture and international trade are inseparable. We can’t talk about one without discussing the other. In 2014, American ag exports soared to a record $152.5 billion, and accounted for 20% of U.S. agriculture income.
Trade and foreign market access affect not only rural economies, but the overall economic health of nations - including ours. In that spirit, I’m happy to welcome Phil Hogan, the European Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, to the 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum. He will join our own Secretary Tom Vilsack during the plenary session for a discussion that promises to be insightful.
The United States and the European Union are far more alike than they are different when it comes to agricultural and rural issues. We both stand to benefit substantially from a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership package that includes bold action on agriculture. Cooperation between the United States and our global trading partners not only facilitates trade, but can help improve food safety and security and foster rural economic development around the world.
Our participation in the global economy means that trends in other markets have a large impact here at home. One of our key goals at USDA (and FAS) is to keep our stakeholders abreast of global trends and the impact they might have on U.S. agriculture. During the 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum, two key sessions will focus on international trade: Driving Forces in Changing Global Markets and Growing Markets for U.S. Exports. I hope you can join us as we explore these international markets and new opportunities for American agriculture.
For more information and to register for the 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum, please visit www.usda.gov/oce/forum.