The USDA export forecast for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 predicted that US agricultural exports will rise to $136.5 billion in 2012 and $143.5 billion in fiscal 2013, beating the previous record set in 2011 and representing a 50% increase in agricultural exports since 2009.
US Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack said that the current export forecast was a “historic achievement” for US farmers and ranchers. “Even tough odds due to extreme weather, US agriculture is now poised for three consecutive years of record exports, smashing all previous records and putting America’s agricultural sector on pace to achieve President Obama’s goal under the National Export Initiative of doubling exports by the end of 2014,” he said.
Vilsack said that there were a number of explanations behind the “remarkable” sucess of agricultural exports, which will support more than 1 million jobs in the US.
“The first is a story of American innovation and resiliency. US agriculture as a whole is resilient thanks to producers’ ability to innovate, reduce their debt and capitalise on expanding market opportunities. The second is a President who has laid the groundwork for success in rural America,” he explained.
The President’s 2009 National Export Initiative and the Obama Administration have, according to Vilsack, renegotiated and implemented important trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia. Also, trade in organics have expanded with the European Union and the Administration has also removed hundreds of unfair barriers to trade for American companies.
An investment by the Obama Administration into the future of rural America’s future has enabled the support of renewable energy and bio-based products, which provide rural communities with growth and innovation.
“Thanks to this successful partnership, US agriculture is stronger today than at any time in our nation’s history, supporting and creating good American jobs for millions,” Vilsack said.
“Congress needs to help ensure that this success continues by passing a comprehensive, multi-year Food, Farm and Jobs Bill that provides greater certainty for farmers and ranchers.”