The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week released its quarterly outlook report, projecting a record agriculture trade deficit. This is disappointing news for American farmers, who have long been able to boast a positive trade balance in agriculture. Republicans assert that the negative trade balance is due in part to the lack of attention the Biden administration has placed on trade negotiations. Global agricultural markets are highly competitive, and our farmers and ranchers need the administration to actively engage in order to protect their interests.
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, issued the following statement after the USDA’s release:
“U.S. farmers have been able to point to their positive trade balance in agriculture as a source of pride for the better part of the last 50 years as they worked to feed, clothe and fuel the world. The negative trade balance of a record $14.5 billion projected today is disappointing to see, but unfortunately not surprising given the lack of attention the Biden administration has placed on trade.
“Global agricultural markets are highly competitive. Our farmers and ranchers need the administration to actively engage and aggressively advocate for them on the world stage. Congress can help by dedicating resources to trade promotion programs in the next farm bill, but that is inconsequential if the White House and USDA continue to consider this to be a low priority.
“Our producers deserve an administration that is focused on, and serious about, opening new markets, expanding existing ones and ensuring our trade partners are following the rules of our agreements. With the continuance into the next crop year of record high input costs and rising interest rates, reduced global trade of U.S. produced agriculture and food products only worsens the economic standing of farmers and ranchers.”
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