Salmonsen: Despite Strong Export Numbers This Is No Time For US Ag To Get Complacent

The USDA is expecting 2021 to be a great year for U.S. Exports, projecting a record $164 billion worth of American exports this year. That’s up $28 billion year-over-year. American Farm Bureau trade adviser Dave Salmonsen said economic recovery from the pandemic and a key trade market, poised to be number one again, are driving the records numbers.

“The forecast from USDA for China is that we could be up to $35 billion dollars in Ag exports to China, this year…we had $28 billion last year. So, they continue to be a major buyer, especially of corn and soybeans—also, meat products.”

And combined with recent record prices, Salmonsen says higher volumes mean record export figures. But he agrees none of that is a reason for the U.S. to be complacent; a concern of some lawmakers and lobbyists, as the administration argues for more time to review pending talks.

“Well, there’s never a reason to sit on it. We look forward to the Biden Administration moving on our trade agreements. We have that China Phase I Agreement, we have these purchase commitments. That runs out at the end of 2021. We hope that the administration can work with China…either come up with a new, Phase II, that includes some new commitments, or, put in the ideas and the measures, that will be a good underpinning, to keep this trade going.”

While advancing new deals with the U.K., EU, Kenya and others, that could bolster strong trade numbers, even when prices soften again.

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