Saturday, March 10, 2018
Graves: U. S. should work to increase agricultural exports
For generations, agriculture has been North Missouri’s number one industry. As farming has evolved, producers continue to look for new and expanded markets so they can remain viable and profitable. Free trade plays a critical role in making this possible.
As a sixth-generation family farmer, I see the importance of free trade every day. It guarantees that the world is fed and our farmers here at home are able to make a living. Maintaining the viability of agriculture is critical to the success of our state, particularly where we live in North Missouri.
Common sense free trade deals help us maintain the viability of agriculture. Farming has an economic impact of 88 billion in the state of Missouri supporting nearly 956,500 jobs according to Americans for Farmers and Families. As a result, Missouri producers exported over 3 billion in total food and agriculture products in 2016. This doesn’t happen without the existence of common-sense free trade deals.
These common-sense trade deals ensure the viability of our Missouri economy. That’s why, this week, I wrote a letter to the United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer encouraging him to look for new opportunities to sell our goods outside of the United States.
This bipartisan letter was signed by every single Missouri Representative – on both sides of the aisle. In an era of partisanship, Missouri stands united to emphasize that free trade is critical to our economy.
President Trump has made strengthening our economy and increasing our global competitiveness a priority by putting America first. We must make sure that we negotiate fair deals with other countries to expand trade and greater wealth for all nations. When the United States grows, so does the world.
Countries around the world already greatly benefit from Missouri’s agricultural products. To ensure future prosperity, The United States should work diligently to increase our agricultural exports while making sure that we take action to safeguard American interests.