A report, “The Economic Contribution of America’s Farmers and the Importance of Agricultural Exports,” by the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress highlighted the increasing importance of agricultural exports to the U.S. economy. The report indicates that the value of U.S. agricultural exports has doubled over the last decade and that growth in developing countries is expected to increase future demand. Agriculture accounted for less than 5% of the U.S. gross domestic product from 2007-2011, but agricultural products accounted for 10% of total U.S. exports. The report recommended actions Congress should take to boost U.S. farm exports. They included:
· 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
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), co-chair of the Joint Economic Committee, said the report highlights the need to pass a long-term, comprehensive farm bill to ensure this growth continues.