The White House has asked for written public statements on matters regarding U.S. exports and trade. The U.S. Grains Council obliged by submitting a letter to the Obama administration and the President's Export Council advising the President on matters related to agricultural exports. In particular, USGC reiterated its support of the administration's National Export Initiative and its aggressive goals of doubling U.S. exports in the next five years with the mission of generating two million U.S. jobs.
The letter also mentioned the open-ended opportunities that lie in markets in China, India and Southeast Asia where the demand for U.S. agricultural commodities continues to grow. Not lost in the discussion were pending free trade agreements between the United States and Korea, Panama and Colombia. The letter warned the President that U.S. exporters risk losing credibility among their global trading partners while competitors such as Argentina, Brazil and members of the Mercosur trading bloc, capture market share.
The pending FTA between the United States and Colombia is a particular concern to the Council. The letter went on to state that without expeditious ratification of the FTA, U.S. producers will cede this market to other competitors. The Council noted that in 2008, U.S. agricultural exports of coarse grains exceeded $635 million and accounted for an 83% share of total Colombian coarse grain imports. Yet in 2010, U.S. coarse grain exports declined to 118 million and market share fell to 18%.