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After visiting Los Angeles and San Francisco as part of a three-day jobs tour, Ambassador Kirk traveled to Sacramento, California on Thursday to host an agriculture roundtable discussion with Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross. The roundtable focused around how the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia will benefit California’s workers, businesses and farms.
Once the trade agreements are implemented, California producers will be able to export their American-grown products to these countries without tariffs on items such as cherries, raisins, grape juice, pistachios, almonds and wine. This will allow California’s agriculture companies to export more and support additional American jobs.
The event took place at the Blue Diamond Growers facility after Ambassador Kirk was given a firsthand tour of the processing of almonds from delivery to shipping. Almond growers in California, like Blue Diamond, who grow and sell their products into commercial channels represent 90 percent of the California almond production. This year's forecasted total almond production in California is 1.95 billion pounds. This represents approximately 80 percent of the world's supply.
California is, and has been, the nation’s top agricultural exporting state for more than 50 years. Producers in the Golden State exported an estimated $12.8 billion of agricultural goods last year. By opening new markets around the world, the Obama Administration and USTR continue to help American agricultural producers export more and support additional jobs here at home.