The Department of Agriculture released its quarterly outlook for U.S. agricultural trade. Dave Salmonsen, American Farm Bureau (AFBF) Senior Government Affairs Director, says the data projects a decrease in exports and an increase of agricultural imports in 2024.

"For this year, 2023, agricultural exports have come in at about $179 billion and imports at about 195 billion," Salmonsen said. "So, we're seeing an increase in imports, a bit of a decrease in exports from a year ago when we were about 190 billion, and for next year, that will widen a little bit and we'll be down a little bit more on exports and a further increase in imports."

Salmonsen explains how the forecast impacts our major trade partners.

"[In] 2023, our agricultural exports to our number one destination, which is China, were right about $34 billion, and their forecast for next year at 29 and a half billion," Salmonsen said. "Mexico and Canada will pretty much stay the same, Mexico with $28 billion, Canada 27 billion. A little bit of a decrease in Japan from 12 billion down to 11 and a half billion. The European Union, roughly the same, right around the $12 billion mark, and the same with South Korea."

AFBF and other agricultural organization recently sent a letter to President Biden supporting measures that will improve agricultural trade.

"The administration needs to get back in the business of working on and executing comprehensive trade agreements and let's continue to enforce, aggressively, our existing trade agreements," Salmonsen said. "We need to reform the World Trade Organization, especially the dispute settlement function. We need to continue to support and strengthen our agricultural supply chains. And in sustainability, we need the administration to continue to work and support voluntary, incentive-based efforts."