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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.  

Happy Birthday Amber Waves!

For the past decade and a half, ERS has been highlighting its research through its magazine, Amber Waves. As technology has evolved, so has Amber Waves, but the focus on bringing ERS’s latest agriculture and food research to readers in an engaging and user-friendly format has remained constant. In celebration of Amber Waves’ 15th Anniversary, we present a selection of its recent noteworthy stories and share its refreshed website.

What Can I Bring Back with Me When I Travel Overseas?

When you travel, it’s likely you’ll want to bring home more than just memories of your trip. If you are someone who likes to bring home souvenirs, mementos, food gifts or other objects from overseas, there’s some important information you need to know. Selecting the wrong kinds of items could bring back more than you bargained for… you may also bring along diseases or invasive species that could threaten forests, farms or even your garden. These seemingly harmless items could devastate United States agriculture.

The U.S. Seed Trade Industry Thanks USDA for Helping It Thrive

Seeds for planting represent tremendous value to the U.S. agricultural economy. In 2016, the United States exported $1.67 billion worth of these seeds and imported $997 million worth of them. This month, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) recognized USDA’s efforts to make the international movement of seeds safer and more efficient. The association presented its 2018 Distinguished Service Award to Osama El-Lissy, Deputy Administrator of USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine program.

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.”

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.

The WASDE Report, aka Crop Report

The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) is a monthly report providing a global look at the markets for key agricultural products. The many users include agricultural commodity traders, agricultural producers, processors, retailers and consumers, input suppliers, livestock and dairy feeders, and researchers interested in global agricultural markets. The market uses the WASDE report as a common understanding of current conditions under which many take actions to position themselves or make future plans based on the current global supply and demand situation.

Exploring Global Agricultural Trade Information from USDA’s Economic Research Service

Did you know that the United States is the world’s second largest agricultural exporter after the European Union? Agricultural trade supports American jobs and spurs non-farm economic activity. In 2016, U.S. agricultural exports required over one million full-time civilian jobs, including 764,000 jobs in the nonfarm sector. Each dollar of U.S. agricultural exports supported an additional $1.28 in farm and non-farm business activity. Moreover, U.S. agricultural trade surplus has historically helped to offset some of the trade deficit in non-agricultural sectors.

Fair Trade and the World Trade Organization

May is World Trade Month, a time to recognize and echo the importance of global trade, particularly fair trade. As we kickoff World Trade Month here at USDA, it’s important to acknowledge that trade is on our minds not only during May but every single day of the year. Our work supporting fair trade is a 24-hour job as few industries depend more upon – and benefit more from – trade than American agriculture.