Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the American agricultural sector had its best export year in 2022, with international sales of U.S. farm and food products reaching $196 billion. The final 2022 trade data released by the Commerce Department shows that U.S. agricultural exports increased 11 percent, or $19.5 billion, from the previous record set in 2021. This second consecutive year of record-setting agricultural exports, coupled with a record $160.5 billion in net farm income in 2022, demonstrates the success of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to create new and better markets for America’s agricultural producers and businesses.
The top 10 agricultural export markets of the United States – China, Mexico, Canada, Japan, the European Union, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Colombia and Vietnam – all saw an increase in sales value. In seven of the ten markets, new records were set. Thirty markets saw U.S. exports exceeding $1 billion in 2022, demonstrating the broad global appeal of American-grown products.
Soybeans, corn, beef, dairy, cotton, and tree nuts were the top commodities exported by the United States in 2022, comprising more than half of U.S. agricultural export value. International sales of soybeans, cotton, dairy, beef, ethanol, poultry, soybean meal, distilled spirits and distillers’ grains reached record values.
Secretary Vilsack noted that the Biden-Harris Administration has been strengthening relationships with trading partners and holding those partners accountable for their commitments, making historic investments in infrastructure to strengthen supply chains and prevent market disruptions, knocking down trade barriers that hamper U.S. producers’ access to key markets, and continuing to invest in export market development programs.
The global population is projected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, and with the climate crisis worsening, we need to produce more food sustainably. The U.S. has a historic opportunity to shorten supply chains, safeguard long-term food security, and decrease the environmental costs of agriculture through innovation. Congress is set to reauthorize the farm bill in 2023, which should help accelerate technological advances, increase domestic food production, and strengthen the supply chain. The bill should also prioritize workforce development, preparing the next generation to pursue careers in high-tech farming, and positioning research institutions, land-grant universities, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities as hubs of agricultural innovation. Investment tax credits should apply to both indoor and outdoor specialty crop growers to scale up farming technology.
American innovation has led to advances in agriculture that have benefited the entire world, and Congress must invest in the future of food. The global challenges of climate change and food insecurity will accelerate the development of new farming technologies, and America has an opportunity to lead this revolution and spread the benefits around the world.