U.S. agriculture has posted an annual trade surplus for well over 50 years. Agricultural exports support more than one million American jobs, with roughly 70 percent of these jobs in the non-farm sector (processing, manufacturing, etc.). In 2017, agricultural domestic exports reached $138.4 billion and created an estimated $177.2 billion in additional economic activity, for a total economic output of $315.6 billion. In 2018, the Administration will continue to open new markets for safe, wholesome U.S. food and agricultural products to be enjoyed by consumers around the world.
Below are several sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) success stories from 2017, including items identified in the 2017 National Trade Estimate Report:
- Potatoes to Japan: Following successful engagement by USTR and USDA, Japan opened its market to Idaho fresh chipping potatoes in September 2017, lifting an import ban on Idaho potatoes that had been in place for 11 years. The United States currently exports nearly $20 million of total fresh potatoes to Japan.
- Beef to China: Following the Presidential summit in early 2017, the United States and China reached agreement to reopen China’s market to U.S. exports of beef in June 2017. China imported $3 billion from all sources in 2017, of which $30 million were U.S. exports.
- Poultry to Korea: In August 2017, South Korea lifted a ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products that it had imposed earlier in the year due to a detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Tennessee. In 2014, the last full year without HPAI-related restrictions, South Korea purchased $122 million in U.S. poultry products. USDA recently concluded a regionalization protocol with Korea to address future cases of HPAI.
- Rice to Colombia: The United States and Colombia reached an agreement in August 2017 to expand access and reduce costs for U.S. rough rice exports to Colombia. The new agreement, based on joint efforts by USTR and USDA, lifts costly mitigation requirements and expands access. Colombia is nearly a $60 million market for U.S. rough rice.
- GE corn and soybeans to China: China routinely delays approval of genetically engineered (GE) crops. In June and July 2017, China approved four of the eight pending GE products (three corn and one soybean). These important approvals resulted from the May 11, 2017 agreement under the 100-Day Action Plan of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue. Year-end 2017 sales of U.S. corn to China exceeded 800,000 tons, compared to 185,000 tons in 2016.
- Beef to Thailand: In March 2017, the United States reached agreement with Thailand to expand U.S. beef exports to Thailand to include deboned and bone-in beef muscle cuts, regardless of cattle age. Thailand had previously limited access to deboned beef from cattle less than 30 months of age due to concerns over Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). U.S. producers exported beef and beef products valued at $4.3 million to Thailand in 2017, a 46 percent increase from 2016.
- Grains to Vietnam: In September 2017, Vietnam lifted its ban on U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGs) and ended restrictive fumigation requirements for U.S. corn and wheat. The successful resolution of this issue follows a commitment made by Vietnam during Prime Minister Phuc’s May 2017 visit. U.S. exports of DDGs, corn, and wheat to Vietnam rebounded in the last four months of the year, reaching a total value of $90 million in 2017.
- Processed Food to China: Working with a coalition of trading partners, the United States maintained access for over $800 million of processed food exports to China through a two-year delay in implementation of a proposed export certification measure that would have had a significant adverse impact on trade. In 2017, China announced the delay on the new requirement that all foods, including low-risk processed foods, enter China with an export certificate.