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Oregon produces agricultural products that are exported worldwide. In 2008,
the State's cash receipts from farming totaled $4.4 billion, and exports were an
estimated $1.5 billion. Agricultural exports help boost farm prices and income,
while supporting about 17,374 jobs both on the farm and off the farm in food
processing, storage, and transportation. Exports are increasingly important to
Oregon's agricultural and statewide economy. Measured as exports divided by farm
cash receipts, the State's reliance on agricultural exports was 34 percent in
Oregon's top agricultural exports in 2008 were:
wheat and products -- $285 million
planting seeds -- $280 million
fruits and preparations -- $209 million
vegetables and preparations -- $133 million
World demand for these products is increasing, but so is competition among
suppliers. If Oregon's farmers, ranchers, and food processors are to compete
successfully for the export opportunities of the 21st century, they need fair
trade and more open access to growing global markets.
How Trade Agreements Benefit Oregon Agriculture
Oregon is one of the nation’s top vegetable producers. If Congress ratifies
the U.S. – Australian FTA in its current form, 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.
Under he U.S. – Australian FTA, Oregon’s fruit industry will benefit.
Australia’s 5-percent tariff would be eliminated on a number of fruits and nuts
including processed products like cranberry juice, fruit jams and jellies.
Australia has also committed to addressing outstanding phytosanitary issues,
including those for apples and stone fruits. From 2001 to 2003, U.S. suppliers
annually shipped on average $50 million worth of fruit and nut products to
Australia generally applies lower tariffs of around 5 percent on most
processed foods. If Congress ratifies the U.S. – Australian FTA in its current
form, U.S. processed foods and beverages will immediately receive duty-free
tariff treatment. From 2001 through 2003, U.S. suppliers annually shipped to
Australia on average: breads, cakes, and pastries valued at $4.6 million; soups
and broths valued at $80,000; wines valued at $1.1 million; distilled spirits
valued at $56 million; and chocolate bars valued at $1.3 million.
Export Success Stories
Portland area companies are benefiting from market development efforts in
China. The APA-The Engineered Wood Association announced that one of its members
recently sold and shipped about $130,000 worth of glued laminated timber for the
construction of two bridges in Shanghai, China. The two contracts - one for a
three-meter span pedestrian bridge and the other for a 30-meter light vehicular
traffic bridge – were the direct result of an USDA-sponsored trade mission and
seminar organized in May 2004. Another Oregon-based company is providing the
engineering design, consolidation and on-site erection supervision for these two
bridges. These contracts represent a major step in ongoing U.S. industry efforts
to gain a share of the burgeoning construction materials market in China. In
fact, designs for several additional bridges have been requested.
Oregon pea and lentil producers have benefited from the USDA and USA Pea and
Lentil Association market development successes. Through aggressive promotional
efforts in the Philippines, they have managed to sustain and expand U.S. peas
exports despite strong Canadian marketing efforts. Through trade servicing and
generic promotions in Germany, U.S. lentil exports to Germany went up
approximately 300 percent between 2000 and 2003. Over that time, three German
packagers have begun using U.S. lentils as a premium packaged product. In
addition, generic promotion of peas in Mexico has also helped to increase
exports and market share in that market, as peas are now used in a snack
The Pear Bureau reports that a sharp increase in the export volume to Mexico
is attributed to the USDA market development programs in Mexico. As a major U.S.
pear producing state, Oregon reaped some of the increased trade benefits as pear
exports to Mexico reached nearly $35 million, establishing a new record level of
exports to Mexico, the industry’s top export market. Since 1996, U.S. pear
exports to Mexico have increased over 230 percent. U.S. pear exports in the
2003/04-season reached almost $45 million.