The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s final tally for the nation's agricultural exports in fiscal year 2013 registered a new record at $140.9 billion.
“The period 2009-2013 stands as the strongest five-year period for agricultural exports in our nation's history,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement Friday. “In fact, compared to the previous five-year period from 2004-2008, U.S. agricultural exports from 2009-2013 increased by a total of more than $230 billion – and the average volume of bulk commodities exported increased by nearly 4 million tons per year during that same period.”
Vilsack warned, however, that to keep up this agriculture trade momentum Congress needs to pass a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill.
“These trade promotion efforts return $35 in economic benefits for every dollar invested – a great value for producers who gain access to additional market opportunities abroad, as well as rural communities that depend on a solid agriculture sector to create and support jobs,” he said. “A new Farm Bill would complement historic work by the Obama administration to break down barriers to U.S. products and achieve new agreements to expand exports – an effort that continues today as we work toward new agreements with the European Union and a number of Asian nations.”