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Ag sales abroad help America

By Staff | Jun 17, 2016

America’s economy would be more robust if this nation were able to sell in the international marketplace more of the products that are made or grown here. Unfortunately, achieving a positive trade balance overall has been an elusive goal.

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack issued a statement on May 27 reminding Americans that our nation’s farmers and ranchers are doing quite well in foreign markets. Here is some of what Vilsack said:

“Exports comprise 20 percent of U.S. farm income, drive rural economic activity and support more than 1 million American jobs. We have the opportunity to expand those benefits even further through passage of new trade agreements … A report published by the International Trade Commission just last week shows that the TPP will significantly expand U.S. exports to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and add an additional $10 billion to annual U.S. agricultural output by 2032.”

The TPP and other trade pacts have become controversial in the current presidential campaign. Much of the disagreement, however, relates to the alleged negative impact of some proposed trade policies on the manufacturing sector.

Nobody wants to see factories closed in the U.S. because companies can increase their profits by sending jobs outside our borders. Consequently, it may well be that some existing and proposed trade pacts need to be adjusted to reduce the likelihood that will happen. It’s important, however, as trade policies are reconsidered that no changes be adopted that would reduce the ability of our nation’s farmers to sell their products abroad.

Farm News agrees with Vilsack that stimulating international sales of agricultural products is very much in America’s interest. Trade policies that continue to make that possible should be a priority of our leaders in Washington.

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