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Celebrating World Trade Week - and U.S. Agriculture’s Trade Successes

Posted by Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis M. Taylor in Trade USDA Results
May 22, 2024
A ship at the Port of Baltimore in Baltimore, MD

May is World Trade Month and this is World Trade Week – a perfect opportunity to celebrate U.S. agriculture’s trade successes and highlight the importance of trade to the farm sector and to our nation as whole. After all, about 20 percent of all U.S. agricultural production is exported, providing a critical source of farm income, supporting more than a million jobs, and generating nearly $200 billion in additional economic activity each year in our rural communities and beyond.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, U.S. agricultural exports have grown significantly, posting the three highest years in history in 2021-2023. And USDA remains committed to tapping more, new and better global market opportunities for our producers and agribusinesses through our trade policy and market development work.

Some of that work is behind the scenes, like our efforts to knock down trade barriers – including India’s tariffs on U.S. poultry and berries, which were reduced in March – and to ensure that our trading partners live up to their agriculture-related commitments under trade pacts such as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

And some of the work is more forward-facing, like our trade missions and trade shows, which put U.S. producers and exporters in direct contact potential customers. Over the past three years, 13 USDA agribusiness trade missions helped 227 companies to tap new opportunities in key markets worldwide. There are still four more missions to come yet this year – to Canada, Colombia, Vietnam, and Morrocco. We also give U.S. producers and companies a chance to showcase their products to potential foreign buyers numerous USDA-endorsed international trade shows each year.

In addition, USDA is building on the success of our longstanding market development programs by taking creative new approaches and allocating significant new resources to expanding foreign markets.

Earlier this week, Secretary Vilsack announced the first $300 million in awards, under the new $1.2 billion Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP), to help 66 partner organizations expand export opportunities in diverse and dynamic new markets. And last week, we announced the first funding opportunities under the new Assisting Specialty Crop Exports (ASCE) initiative, an innovative partnership between USDA and the specialty crops sector to address the unique challenges that hinder U.S. exports of produce, tree nuts, horticultural crops, and related products.

The bottom line is that agricultural trade matters – to USDA, to the farm sector, to our nation, and to the world. So take a moment to celebrate this World Trade Week. Cheers! Prost! Kanpai! Cin cin! Santé! Salud!

Category/Topic: Trade USDA Results