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Trade

Has Global Agricultural Trade been Resilient under COVID-19?

Last year, as COVID-19 rattled the world economy and disrupted trade flows, agricultural trade remained mostly stable, falling only two percent during the initial wave of infections and lockdowns, before bouncing back and ending the year up 3.5 percent. But the growth in agricultural trade doesn’t mean that trade flows were insulated from the effects of the pandemic. Much of 2020 was in fact shaped by other factors. For instance, 95% of global agricultural trade growth came from China and was driven in part by non-pandemic related factors of increased feed demand, efforts to restock grain reserves, and policy factors. A recent paper by USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist, Has Global Agricultural Trade been Resilient under COVID-19? Findings from an Econometric Assessment (PDF, 1.4 MB) (Arita et al.), suggests that while agricultural trade remained stable at the aggregate level, a deeper empirical analysis reveals there were still significant disruptions due to the pandemic.

USDA Amplifies Farmers Voices and Concerns Over Transportation and Shipping

Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) convened a meeting with representatives of U.S. agricultural products and leadership from the United States Department of Transportation (DoT) to discuss current issues surrounding shipping U.S. agricultural exports, as well as logistical and technical concerns. Participants included a wide range of agriculture stakeholders in the livestock, grains, specialty crop, and dairy industries, as well as representatives from the shipping and value-added sector of U.S. agriculture. The discussion was led jointly by USDA Chief of Staff Katharine Ferguson and DoT Senior Advisor Carlos Monje, the key point of contact for Secretary Buttigieg on this issue.

America’s Farmers: Resilient Throughout the COVID Pandemic

The disruptive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. agricultural system have been broad and varied. And they follow several years of trying production and market conditions for U.S. farmers. In 2017 and 2018, several hurricanes pummeled U.S. farms; 2019 brought historically poor planting conditions and retaliatory tariffs cut potential for our agricultural exports compared to 2017.

USDA’s 2019 Agricultural Forum: Recap and Takeaways

On February 22-23, agriculture stakeholders gathered at USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum to discuss current and emerging issues affecting U.S. agricultural production and international trade.

Dogs as Heroes: USDA Trained Detector Dogs Help Defend American Border from Pests and Diseases

While dogs are man’s best friend, they are also one of the most efficient friends we have in protecting American agriculture and natural resources from the threat of invasive pests. Last month a dog trained by U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) proved that fact when he uncovered a roasted pig head stowed in passenger baggage at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  Pork and pork products from other countries are not permitted to enter the U.S. as they could bring diseases like African swine fever and foot and mouth disease to the United States.  

USDA Expert Helps Shape Global Agricultural Outlook Report

Each year, agricultural experts from around the world gather in Paris to crunch numbers, analyze trends, and produce a 10-year global agriculture outlook report. I was among those analysts, and today, we unveiled our collective efforts in the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027.

AMS Sets the Gold Standard for Cotton

Despite its relatively small size and location in Memphis, Tennessee, the Agricultural Marketing Service, Standardization & Engineering Division (S&E) within the USDA Cotton & Tobacco Program (C&T) plays a giant role in both the U.S. and international cotton marketing systems.

Exporting Used Textiles Helps Global and Local Economies

Donating used clothing to charities obviously helps clothe and employ fellow Americans, but other benefits fly below the radar: exporting worn textiles provides income to low- and middle-income foreign countries, and also helps the environment. That win-win-win situation gives new meaning to the phrase, “giving the shirt off your back.”

NASS Surveys Provide U.S. Agricultural Supply Data for Trade

With May being World Trade Month, it is worth noting that the source of data to determine the U.S. supply of crops and livestock is America’s farmers and ranchers who fill out surveys from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). These statistics feed directly into the monthly World Supply and Demand Estimates report (WASDE), which shows how much food, feed, fuel, and fiber are available or expected to be available around the world throughout the year. These data are available free of charge to anyone who wants them and are widely regarded as the gold standard.

Regionalization Plays a Key Role in Facilitating U.S. Agricultural Trade

It’s World Trade Month and a good time to consider a few of the ways that USDA helps advance trade. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plays a vital role in the free flow of agricultural trade by keeping U.S. agriculture free from pests and diseases and certifying that millions of U.S. agricultural and food products shipped to markets abroad meet the importing countries' entry requirements. Likewise, APHIS works to ensure all imported agricultural products shipped to the United States meet our requirements to prevent pests and diseases from harming U.S. agriculture. Last year the United States exported over $138 billion of agricultural products and imported over $120 billion.