trade advisory

Expert Says Ag Trade Needs Improvement

Sabrina Halvorson Trade

As 2023 comes to a close, we look back on some of the top issues for agriculture during the year. Director of Government and Public Affairs with the ag business advisory company Pinion, Brian Kuehl says issue number one is trade.

“We all know trade is important for America’s farmers. Twenty percent of US Farm revenue comes from exports, so anytime you’re talking about ag policy in the United States, trade has to be one of those topics,” he said.

Kuehl said the good news on the trade front was record exports to China.

“We exported last year roughly forty billion dollars’ worth of ag trade, about nineteen percent of our total went to China,” he said. “So, we sold them a lot of soybeans. We sold them a lot of other products. And that really helps bolster the AG economy in the United States and keep rural communities afloat. So that’s the good news.”

However, he said it’s a mixed bag.

“I think the bad news is we’ve not really seen sufficient support from Congress or the Biden administration to diversify our export base. It’s good that we’re selling that much product to China, but I think we’re all a little nervous that if China goes and invades Taiwan, or if we have another trade war with China, we’re really reliant on them, for twenty percent of our exports,” he said. “So, we’d like to diversify where we send food and ag products.”

He said in order to do that, the U.S. would need new trade markets.

“As a country, we have been behind the ball on that,” he said. “ So, for 2023, I think we’d get poor marks in terms of really expanding ag trade.”

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.