Trade Is Vital
to U.S. Agriculture
The United States
is now the world’s largest agricultural exporter. The value
of agricultural exports equals nearly one-fourth of farm cash
receipts, about twice the level of the overall U.S. economy,
and 1 out of 3 acres are planted for export.
During the past 50 years, corn
yields have tripled and wheat yields have doubled.
Agricultural sector productivity in the United States has been
rising at an annual rate of about 2 percent. American farmers
export 45 percent of their wheat, 34 percent of their
soybeans, 71 percent of their almonds, and more than 60
percent of their sunflower oil. This rising productivity
benefits the entire U.S. economy by releasing resources that
can be used to produce other goods and services Americans
For many food products, U.S.
producers are among the lowest cost producers in the world.
But competition is about more than costs. The competitiveness
of our food and agricultural sector results from investments
made each year by our farmers, the food industry, and our
government. These investments are targeted to building a
stable framework for agricultural trade, finding answers to
challenges through research, and supporting wider use of the
latest technology. This is an efficient system that enables
the United States to deliver consistent, high quality products
to demanding customers all around the world.