Vilsack Advocates Farm Bill, Labor Reform Passage
Washington--The Agriculture Department released its Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade yesterday. USDA projects that fiscal year 2013 agricultural exports will reach $140 billion, which if realized would be a new record.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on this news, while emphasizing the need for Congress to pass farm bill and immigration legislation:
"Driven by the productivity of U.S. farmers and ranchers, we have achieved five years of positive momentum for agricultural exports and [yesterday's] forecast is another promising development. Agricultural exports have a real impact on Main Street and beyond, supporting more than 1 million good jobs here at home. We're counting on Congress to help keep up this momentum. With just a few weeks left before expiration of many farm bill programs-including trade promotion programs that return $35 in economic benefits for every dollar invested-producers and rural communities need passage of a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs bill as soon as possible. This would enable USDA to continue trade promotion, and carry out a wide variety of additional efforts to support a productive U.S. agriculture sector. At the same time, America's farmers and ranchers need a reliable and stable agricultural workforce to keep up production. Passage of the commonsense immigration reform measure, which was already approved by a bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate, would further strengthen American agriculture and help put our nation on solid footing to maintain strong exports in the years to come."