Exports are an important market for American agricultural and food products and send ripples of activity through the domestic economy. For example, grain exports first generate on-farm economic activity through purchases of inputs such as fuel and fertilizer, stimulating additional economic activity in manufacturing, trade and services. transport. Getting grain to the export market requires transportation, storage, and marketing, among many other services. This additional economic activity is estimated annually by the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) using an agricultural trade multiplier that measures the employment and output effects of trade in agricultural and food products. on the American economy. Despite the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020, which depressed overseas sales for several months, exports rebounded from August and increased significantly thereafter. U.S. agricultural exports valued at $150 billion in 2020 generated an additional $154 billion in economic activity, for a total of $304 billion in economic output. This means that, on average, every dollar of US agricultural product exported generated a total of $2.03 of domestic economic activity. No sector outside of crop and animal production has benefited more from agricultural exports than the services, trade and transportation sector, which generated $68 billion in additional economic activity. On the farm, agricultural exports supported an additional $32 billion in business activity beyond the value of agricultural exports themselves. This graph is taken from the ERS Agricultural Trade Multiplier, published in February 2022. See also the Amber Waves infographic, 2020 US Agricultural Trade Multiplier for Soybeans.
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