WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the current Farm Bill expiring on Tuesday, October 1st, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), today released a report analyzing the increasingly important role of agricultural exports in the U.S. economy. The report shows that the value of American agricultural exports doubled over the last decade and that growth in developing countries is expected to increase demand even further.
Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said the report highlights the need to pass a long-term, comprehensive Farm Bill to ensure this growth continues. Klobuchar was selected to serve on the Farm Bill conference committee, which is responsible for crafting the final version of the legislation, and today she called on the House of Representatives to appoint members to the conference committee and work with the Senate to get the bill done.
“American agriculture is feeding and fueling the world while supporting good jobs here at home,” Klobuchar said. “Agricultural exports have been one of the biggest bright spots in our economy these last few years, and our farmers in Minnesota and across the country deserve the certainty of a long-term Farm Bill so they can continue to succeed. I worked hard in the Senate to craft legislation that provides farmers with the support they need while also saving $24 billion, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to make sure this gets done.”
The United States is the world’s leading exporter of agricultural products, with exports of these goods reaching a record high of $141.3 billion in 2012.
The report outlines several policy actions Congress can take to boost U.S. farm exports, including:
• Enacting a long-term farm bill to provide certainty for U.S. agriculture
• Reducing barriers to exporting and promoting opportunities for small and new producers
• Investing in transportation infrastructure
• Enacting comprehensive immigration reform to bring stability to the agricultural workforce
The full report with state-by-state data is available here.
As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Klobuchar worked to pass a strong 2013 Farm Bill that would strengthen the farm safety net, end direct payments and promote homegrown energy while making $24 billion in cuts to help reduce the deficit. Klobuchar is also a member of the President’s Export Council, the primary national advisory committee on international trade.