US farming going from strength to strength
Although in 2007-11 the agricultural industry generated only 5% of the country GDP, agricultural products made up 10% of goods exported from the US. In 2012 the value of exported food reached 141.3 billion USD and the farmers made a profit of 38.5 billion USD.
Owing to the increasing scale of trade exchange with developing countries, the US make good use of profitable, vast markets hungry for American goods. China is one of the leading buyers of US agricultural produce, meat in particular. In the early 1990′ only 1% of goods exported from the United States reached China. In 2012 this country bought up over 18% of the food exported from the US. The total value of this sector is 25 billion USD.
A need for reform
Despite such successes, the United States could do with a reform improving the system of support for agricultural exporters. This concerns in particular the small and medium rural businesspeople, who could sell their product abroad if they had access to adequate financial tools.
A change of legislation is needed
Other necessary changes concern sanitary and fitosanitary regulations. Their unification would help avoid problems with dangerous plant and animal diseases, and reduce the likelihood that infected goods will be exported. Did you know that since 2003, when BSE prions were detected in American beef, the Chinese market has been closed to US beef? At the same time the Chinese buy massive quantities of American pork. In 2012 the US to China exports of this meat reached 431,000 tonnes and was worth 880 million USD.