Politicians spend a lot of time talking about America-First trade deals. Even though the average person may not think about U.S. trade often, it's a key part of the economy — a topic that's on everyone's mind.
In 2017 alone, the U.S. exported around $132 billion worth of agricultural products. As experts hope to grow this number in 2018, possible trade deals could become big news.
The future of U.S. trading
Economists and agricultural experts want U.S. trade to remain strong, so that exports are equal to or more than what they were last year. However, the complexities of selling U.S. commodities internationally constantly increases.
Companies like Syngenta are working to grow agricultural trade to help Americans feed the world and build a stronger economy at home. Many agricultural associations and Syngenta employees work every day with foreign countries to develop positive relationships and a preference for U.S. commodities.
American farmers are the most efficient in the world, says Laura Peterson, federal government and industry relations head for Syngenta. "We rely on export markets for our products, and with prices as low as they are, now is an important time to protect and grow our markets," she says. "We are able to produce far more than we consume and compete in a world of high supply, so remaining competitive is crucial for U.S. agriculture."
Top U.S. agricultural exports
Corn, soybeans and nuts make up three of the top five agricultural exports from the U.S. There is a lot to know about these foods, including the following fascinating facts:
* Corn: One planted seed delivers more than 500 kernels of corn. Corn is widely grown around the globe, with more tons produced each year than any other grain.
* Soybeans: Soybeans are the largest source of protein in agriculture. They are also used to make a variety of nonfood products, including crayons, candles and haircare products. The U.S. exports about half of all its soybeans to other countries.
* Nuts: Nuts are wholesome and versatile. From using nuts in spreads and oils to snacking on roasted varieties, people, domestically and internationally, enjoy them every day. In December 2017 alone, the U.S. exported $936 million worth of nuts.
Negotiating trade agreements
Free trade agreements beneficial to agriculture can boost the marketability of U.S. crops like corn, soybeans and nuts even more overseas. One prime example of this is NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).
"Syngenta remains engaged with U.S. government officials to monitor impacts in renegotiations and trade-dispute actions," Peterson says. "The current threat of trade wars or withdrawing from trade agreements may harm agriculture."
"We partner with groups such as BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization), U.S. Grains Council and national grower organizations to advocate on common issues that impact our interests," Peterson says. "This collaboration and outreach is necessary to address uncertainty in markets and to grow our agriculture economy."
Learn more about agriculture's future
With so much going on in 2018, it's likely more news headlines will be dedicated to the important topic of U.S. trade. To learn more about U.S. agriculture, including crop research and trade negotiations, visit http://www.syngenta-us.com/thrive.