Celebrate World Trade Month This May

Join the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and its members in highlighting agricultural exports during World Trade Month this May. 

In addition, the United States exported 863 million gallons of ethanol in 2015/2016, representative of increased international opportunities for not only U.S. feed grains, but also value-added products. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), agricultural exports reached $134.8 billion in 2016, and imports totaled $114.6 billion, creating a trade surplus of $20.3 billion. 

Exports remain a bright spot in a challenged farm economy. More than 26 percent of U.S. corn in all forms, including 30 percent of distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS), as well as more than 60 percent of U.S. sorghum are now exported.

Much of this success is due to the push by the U.S. farm sector for strong trade agreements and long-term market development work supported by farmers and the federal government through USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program. 

These two programs - in conjunction with support from U.S. agricultural trade organizations like the Council, farmer cooperatives, non-profit state-regional trade groups and other small businesses - form an extremely successful public-private partnership benefitting all of U.S. agriculture. 

A July 2016 study by Informa Economics IEG, working with Texas A&M University and Oregon State University economists, demonstrated MAP and FMD generated $28.30 in export gains for every $1 spent between 1977 and 2014. Additionally, the program returned an average annual increase in farm net income of $2.1 billion and created 239,800 new full and part-time jobs between 2002 and 2014. 

As the global marketing arm for U.S. grain farmers and agribusinesses, and a trusted ambassador for free and fair trade between U.S. agriculture and customers around the world, the Council believes that continued expansion in established export markets and development of new markets will drive the success of the grains industry for years to come. 

To learn more about the successes of the Council and other cooperator organizations utilizing MAP and FMD funds, check out AgExportsCount.org and resources on the Council website.

Farmers and others can participate in the celebrations and education by sharing stories about the importance of trade on social media channels using #agexportscount and #worldtrademonth.