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President Trump Distorts Facts on Agricultural Trade

(Eugene Kiely –

In a Fox Business interview, President Donald Trump singled out trade barriers as a reason for five “very bad years” for U.S. farmers. But agricultural economists blame low farm commodity prices — not trade barriers.

In fact, U.S. agricultural exports totaled $140.5 billion in fiscal year 2017 — the third-highest amount on record. And, as it has done for decades, the U.S. agricultural sector posted an annual trade surplus of $21.3 billion in 2017, up almost 30 percent from fiscal 2016.

Chad E. Hart, an associate professor of economics and crop markets specialist at Iowa State University, described trade as a “bright spot” for an industry that has been in decline after record income levels from 2011 through 2014. Click here to read more.