Lindsay Mitchell

Sep 12, 2016  |  Today's News

With the largest corn crop on record about to be harvested, the need for trade policies that open export markets even further has never been stronger. 

The 2014/2015 marketing year saw U.S. corn exports of more than 43 million metric tons, with total U.S. feed grains in all forms exports exceeding 91 million tons equivalent. Similar success is expected from the 2015/2016 marketing year, which ended about a week ago.  

Now that fall is here, it’s time to reach out and discuss the benefits of trade, trade agreements and the still-pending Trans-Pacific Partnership in your community. 

To help you, the U.S. Grains Council has drafted several pro trade letters to the editor that you might consider sending to your local papers.  The letters are found here.

The following is one example:

Since Great Britain voted to exit the European Union, its political leadership has been upended, its economy has been thrown into uncertainty and millions of regretful voters are asking for a do-over.

Amazingly, many in America are embracing similar isolationist tendencies, threatening to effectively disengage from the global marketplace and turning their backs on pending trade deals that would benefit STATE’s farmers and ranchers.

Every example of isolationism in the world’s history has ended in disaster, and this would be no different.  It would be particularly devastating to rural America’s future. 

The biggest growth potential for farmers and ranchers is abroad, with more than 95 percent of customers living outside of America.  And that number is growing, with 600 million customers predicted to join the middle class by 2020 and food demand expected to double by 2050.

The pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would provide duty-free access of most farm products to a region with a population of 800 million people and a combined GDP of $28 trillion. And the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) being negotiated with Europe has the potential to boost U.S. trade by more than $120 billion within five years. 

Common sense dictates that TPP must be passed and T-TIP must be completed.  If we walk away, there are no do-overs.

Help your association to highlight the increasing value of trade in the face of the large corn crop we expect this fall.  Reach out with a letter to the editor so that we might create positive talk about trade in the coming months leading up to the election.