U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade
January 23, 2017
United States President Donald J. Trump The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump:
We are writing to express our eagerness to work with your administration to keep American industry competitive, add jobs, and grow the U.S. economy. We are focused on improving the U.S. position in the North American market and look forward to working with the Trump Administration on ways to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in ways that preserve and expand upon the gains achieved.
The undersigned organizations, organized as part of the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade, represent the diverse food and agricultural industry that spans the entire United States, supporting over 15 million jobs. Our industry is the heart of rural America, providing employment all along the value chain to ensure that U.S. and global consumers have access to high-quality, safe, and affordable food.
U.S. food and agricultural exports have produced a trade surplus for nearly fifty years.
Consistent growth over this period resulted in over $130 billion worth of exports, which created $423 billion in U.S. economic activity in 2015. These growing exports have increasingly become a vital share and important source of value to U.S. production. Over the past 25 years the share of U.S. production that is exported around the globe has steadily risen in terms of both value and volume, proving that food and agricultural exports are a successful and valuable part of the U.S. economy.
A key part of this success, as it is related to agricultural trade and commerce, comes from collaboration with our closest neighbors. Together Canada, Mexico and the United States make up one of the most competitive and successful economic regions in the world. The success of this trading relationship has come largely from economic cooperation, integration, and policy alignment.
In the 20 years since NAFTA was implemented, the U.S. food and agriculture industry has become increasingly efficient and innovative—growing to support millions of jobs. The market integration provided by NAFTA has increased competitiveness in the face of a rapidly changing global economy. Although some important gaps in U.S. export access still remain, increased market access under NAFTA has been a windfall for U.S. farmers, ranchers and food processors. U.S. food and agriculture exports to both countries have more than quadrupled, growing from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $38.6 billion in 2015.
With a few key sector exceptions that still require attention, North America intraregional food and agricultural trade is now free of tariff and quota restrictions, helping U.S. farmers, ranchers and food processors expand exports. Because of these market access gains the food and agricultural sectors of the North American region have become far more integrated, as is evidenced by rising trade in agricultural products and substantial levels of cross-border investment in the agriculture and food sectors. However, barriers still exist for U.S. exporters and we look forward to working with your Administration on reducing the non-tariff trade barriers that continue to inhibit our exports to the North American marketplace, as well as to addressing the remaining tariffs impeding access for some U.S. export sectors.
With the productivity of U.S. agriculture growing faster than domestic demand, the U.S. food and agriculture industry—and the rural communities that depend on it—relies heavily on export markets to sustain prices and revenues. Therefore, the U.S. food and agriculture industry looks forward to working with the new Administration in preserving and expanding upon the gains our sector has achieved within the North American market and strengthening our competitiveness around the globe.
Adisseo USA Inc.
Agribusiness Council of Indiana
Agri Port Services
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Feed Industry Association
American Peanut Council
American Peanut Product Manufacturers,
American Pulse Association
American Seed Trade Association
American Soybean Association
Archer Daniels Midland Company
Aurora Cooperative Beachner Grain, Inc. Belstra Milling Co Bentoli, Inc.
Bill Barr & Company, Inc.
Blue Water Shipping Company
California Cherry Export Association
California Fresh Fruit Association
California Grain and Feed Association
Campbell Soup Company
Cargill, Incorporated Central Missouri AGRIService, LLC CHS Inc.
Coast Packing Company Cooperative Producers, Inc.
Corn Refiners Association
Deere & Co The DeLong Co., Inc.
Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
Elanco Animal Health
The F.L. Emmert Company
Fresh Produce Association of the Americas
Grain and Feed Association of Illinois
Greater Omaha Packing GROWMARK, Inc.
Hop Growers of America
Illinois Farm Bureau
International Dairy Foods Association
International Ingredient Corporation
J.D. Heiskell and Company
Kessler Foods Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Louis Dreyfus Company, North America Maplehurst Farms, Inc.
McDonald Pelz Global Commodities LLC
Mead Johnson Nutrition
Michigan Agri-Business Association
Michigan Bean Shippers
Midwest Food Products Association
Milk Specialties Global
Minnesota Grain and Feed Association Musco Family Olive Co.
Nagel Farm Service
National Association of Egg Farmers National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Barley Growers Association
National Beef Packing Co. LLC
National Confectioners Association
National Corn Growers Association
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Grain and Feed Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Pork Producers Council
National Potato Council
National Renderers Association
National Sorghum Producers
National Sunflower Association
National Turkey Federation
Nebraska Grain and Feed Association
Nidera North America, LLC
North American Export Grain Association
North American Meat Institute
North American Millers’ Association
North Dakota Grain Dealers Association
Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance Northwest Horticultural Council Nutriad, Inc.
Ohio AgriBusiness Association
Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association
Oligo Basics USA LLC
Pancosma, North America Inc.
Perry’s Ice Cream Pet Food Institute
Premier Business Group
Primos & Cousins USA
Rocky Mountain Agribusiness Association Schreiber Foods, Inc.
The Scoular Company
South Dakota Grain and Feed Association
Sweetener Users Association
Sweet Manufacturing Company
Tate & Lyle Americas Texas Grain and Feed Association TransAgra International Inc. TRC Trading Corporation Tyson Foods, Inc.
United Dairymen of Arizona
United Fresh Produce Association
USA Poultry and Egg Export Council
U.S. Apple Association
U.S. Canola Association
U.S. Dairy Export Council
U.S. Dry Bean Council
U.S. Grains Council
U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association
U.S. Meat Export Federation
U.S. Soybean Export Council
U.S. Wheat Associates Western Growers
Westway Feed Products
Wheeler Brothers Grain Company, LLC
William James and Associates, LLC
Wisconsin Agri-Business Association