WASHINGTON, D.C.,—Carlyle Currier, Vice President of Colorado Farm Bureau, presented to the Senate Subcommittee on East Asia, The Pacific, And International Cybersecurity Policy on the importance of expanding agricultural export markets in Indo-Pacific countries.
“Export markets are critical for American agriculture. American farmers and ranchers exported over $140 billion in products world-wide in 2017. Overall, more than 25 percent of total agricultural production goes to export markets,” said Currier in testimony on behalf of the Colorado Farm Bureau Federation. “In Colorado, as in other states, we rely on trade each day to market the products we work so hard to grow. In fact, about 35 percent of U.S. farm income is derived from selling agricultural products overseas.”
In 2018, agriculture exports from Colorado to 16 countries in the Indo-Pacific region were in excess of $903 million. Several markets in the region have seen significant expansion in the last several years, with overall volume, market share and value on the rise. These markets provide opportunity for Colorado farmers and ranchers to expand their markets and bolster their bottom line.
During the subcommittee testimony, Currier expressed his support for the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, legislation that aims to strengthen ties in the Indo-Pacific region, improve trading relationships, expand markets and advance economic diplomacy. The Indo-Pacific is the fastest growing region in the world, and is already home to more than half the world’s population.
“Strengthened relationships and increased market access are important to provide needed stability to farm families not only in Colorado, but nationwide,” continued Currier. “This will be a powerful tool to help offset losses associated with shrinking market access and tariff related barriers we are currently experiencing in markets like China.”
Recent trade disputes have added to farmers and ranchers who are already burdened with low commodity prices and devastation from severe weather like floods and fires, so farmers and ranchers around the country are looking to expand market opportunities across the globe.
CFB’s official comments to the Senate Subcommittee on East Asia, The Pacific, And International Cybersecurity Policy can be found here.