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Delaware produces agricultural products that are exported worldwide. In 2008,
the State's total cash receipts from farming reached $1.1 billion, and exports
were estimated at $248 million. These exports help boost farm prices and income,
while supporting jobs both on the farm and off the farm in food processing,
storage, and transportation.
Delaware's top agricultural exports in 2008 were:
- poultry and products -- $111 million
- wheat and products -- $43 million
- soybeans and products -- $35 million
- feed grains and products -- $29 million
- vegetables and preparations -- $12 million
World demand for these products is increasing, but so is competition among
suppliers. If Delaware's farmers and food processors are to compete successfully
for export opportunities in the 21st century, they need fair trade and
more open access to growing global markets.
How Trade Agreements Benefit Delaware Agriculture
As one of the leading states in poultry production, Delaware benefited under
the Uruguay Round agreement when Korea eliminated its import quotas on frozen
chicken in 1997, and reduced its tariffs to between 18 to 20 percent by 2004.
These steps supported a rise in U.S. poultry to 120,000 tons valued at $79
million by 2002. The Philippines opened a tariff-rate quota for poultry meat of
16,701 tons in 1998, which rose to 23,500 tons by 2004.
Under the U.S.-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR),
all applied import tariffs on U.S. poultry meats that currently range between 30
and 164 percent will be eliminated over 10 to 18 years depending on the product
and country. Each country also commits to adopting a "systems approach" to the
recognition of the U.S. poultry inspection system, thereby eliminating
plant-by-plant inspections and facilitating trade. From 2001 through 2003, U.S.
poultry meat suppliers annually shipped on average 65,550 metric tons valued at
$61 million to all six countries combined.
As a soybean producer, Delaware benefits under the Uruguay Round agreement as
South Korea reduced its tariffs on soybean oil by 14.5 percent from 1995 to
2004. Thus far, the tariff reduction has supported a threefold increase in
export volume. The Philippines reduced its tariffs on soybean meal from 10 to 3
percent during the same period. China’s accession to the WTO has helped to raise
our exports of soybeans to that country by over six fold from 1999 to 2004,
surpassing $2.4 billion this year.
As a vegetable exporter, Delaware stands to benefit from the U.S.- Australian
FTA. Under the U.S. – Australian FTA, Australia’s 5-percent tariff would be
eliminated on a number of U.S. vegetable exports including mushrooms, potatoes
(fresh, dried and flakes), and sweet corn (frozen and canned). From 2001 through
2003, U.S. suppliers annually shipped on average $21.5 million worth of
vegetable and vegetable products to Australia.