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Trade and Exports Continue to Strengthen American Agriculture

Posted by Alexis M. Taylor, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs in Trade
Mar 19, 2024
A group of women walk through a grove in Vietnam

American agriculture remains strong. Total U.S. agricultural exports reached $174.9 billion in 2023. American farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness owners continue to have success abroad as USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service works for U.S. agriculture.

Exports are critical to the health of America’s farm sector and the nation’s economy. USDA and the Biden-Harris Administration are committed to ensuring that U.S. agriculture has full and fair access to markets and opportunities across the globe.

In the trade policy arena, USDA successfully opened a new grapefruit market in Vietnam, increased ethanol exports to Japan, and secured the removal of retaliatory tariffs on chickpeas, lentils, almonds, walnuts, and apples in India. These and other trade wins in 2023 helped U.S. agricultural producers and exporters gain access to potential markets worth nearly $6.4 billion.

USDA advocated for the interests of U.S. producers in international fora. The U.S. Codex Office’s efforts at the Codex Alimentarius Commission resulted in hundreds of new maximum residue limits for pesticides, ensuring that U.S. growers continue to have access to safe and effective pest control tools. Throughout 2023, our actions set the table for the market development and export promotion activities that directly benefit American farmers and their communities.

A woman and a man shake hands at the beginning of a meeting with two other people standing in the background

FAS hosted five trade missions in 2023 connected U.S. producers and exporters with buyers in Central and South America, Europe, and East and Southeast Asia. The missions facilitated more than 1,600 business-to-business meetings that resulted in nearly $70 million in 12-month projected sales. FAS organized U.S. food pavilions and exhibits at 25 international trade shows in 15 countries, enabling 820 U.S. companies and organizations to showcase their products to global buyers, resulting in $1.5 billion in projected 12-months sales.

In October 2023, USDA launched the Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP), a new market development effort which emphasizes underinvested markets. The $1.2 billion initiative enables exporters to diversify into new markets and increase market share in growth markets. RAPP targets opportunities in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia where there is a growing middle class and demand for greater variety of high-quality food products.

FAS continued to address global food insecurity in 2023. Through its Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition feeding programs, FAS invested a combined $442 million to combat food insecurity in 47 countries.

While 2023 was another fantastic year for U.S. food and agricultural trade, we are not resting on our laurels. We’re setting our goals even higher as we look to diversify our markets and bring more U.S. products to all parts of the world in 2024.

A group of people sitting at a table discussing the USDA’s Specialty Crops Competitiveness Initiative
Category/Topic: Trade