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Oklahoma produces agricultural products that are exported worldwide. In
2008, the State's farm cash receipts totaled $5.8 billion, and exports
were an estimated $1.6 billion. Agricultural exports help boost farm prices and
income, while supporting about 18,532 jobs both on the farm and off the farm in
food processing, storage, and transportation. Exports are increasingly important
to Oklahoma's agricultural and statewide economy. Measured as exports divided by
farm cash receipts, the State's reliance on agricultural exports was 27 percent
Oklahoma's top five agricultural exports in 2008 were:
wheat and products -- $860 million
live animals and red meat -- $261 million
cotton -- $96 million
poultry and products -- $94 million
feed grains and products -- $80
World demand for these products is increasing, but so is competition among
suppliers. If Oklahoma'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 Oklahoma Agriculture
Oklahoma, the fifth largest wheat-producing state, benefited from limits set
on subsidized wheat exports as a result of the Uruguay Round agreement. These
limits influenced the European Union's decision to change its Common
Agricultural Policy, ultimately lowering internal EU market prices to world
price levels. As a result, annual EU wheat exports dropped from 22 million tons
to about 14 million tons as lower market prices stimulated domestic use, and
annual EU wheat imports jumped from 1.5 million tons to 7 million tons as the
levied margin of protection fell. This translates to an 11-percent reduction in
global export competition and a 5.5-million-ton increase in EU imports, half of
which is supplied by the United States.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico eliminated import
licensing for wheat and is phasing out tariffs. Since 1994, average annual U.S.
wheat exports to Mexico have more than tripled, from 23 million bushels to 85
million bushels, valued at $349 million in 2002.
As one of the leading states in poultry production, Oklahoma 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.
Export Success Stories
The Oklahoma wheat industry has benefited from the efforts of the U.S. Wheat
Associates to market U.S. hard red winter wheat to Nigeria. Currently 90 percent
of this wheat variety imported into Nigeria comes from the United States.