The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that the country’s food and agricultural exports will reach $143.5 billion in fiscal 2013, well above the record set in 2011.
At the same time, the USDA revised its fiscal 2012 forecast upward to a near-record $136.5 billion. Since 2009, U.S. agricultural exports have made gains of 50 percent, according to the department.
“Even with tough odds due to extreme weather, U.S. agriculture is now poised for three consecutive years of record exports, smashing all previous records,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement Thursday.
Since 2009, the Obama administration has also renegotiated and implemented trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia, expanded trade in organics with the European Union, removed hundreds of barriers to trade for American companies, and provided businesses the credit, knowledge and connections they need to reach new markets, Vilsack said.
"At the same time, the Obama administration has invested in rural America's future with support for renewable energy and bio-based products that provide rural communities with a sure path toward a sustainable period of growth and innovation,” he added.
Vilsack urged Congress to pass a comprehensive, multi-year Food, Farm and Jobs Bill that “provides greater certainty for farmers and ranchers."