- U.S. farm exports are continuing their eight-year record-setting pace, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's forecast for agricultural exports in fiscal year 2017.
- The agency projects U.S. farm exports to increase $4.3 billion from 2016 to $134 billion in 2017, the sixth-highest total on record.
- U.S. agriculture is anticipated to report another trade surplus at $21.5 billion in 2017, a nearly 30% increase over the $16.6 billion surplus this fiscal year.
The U.S. has exported more than $1 trillion in agricultural products since 2009, according to the USDA. That makes exports a critical source of capital and jobs for the country as a whole, and particularly for key agricultural production states.
Over the past eight years, which spans the Obama administration's two terms, the USDA has promoted export opportunities for U.S. agricultural products in several ways. These have included "opening new markets, pursuing new trade agreements, enforcing existing agreements, and breaking down barriers to trade," the agency said in a statement.
However, with the impending Donald Trump administration, which continues to take shape, some of those factors — particularly trade agreements — could change. Changes made to trade agreements, particularly with key export markets like Canada and Mexico, could impact the trajectory of agricultural exports.
President-elect Trump has yet to announce his nomination for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's replacement. This nomination could have a significant effect on agricultural trade and policy, which impact manufacturers and retailers further down the line.