U.S agricultural exports of $142 billion generated an additional $160 billion in the U.S economy in 2019
Exports constitute a large market for U.S. farm and food products and send ripples of activity through the nation’s economy. For instance, farm purchases of fuel and fertilizer spur economic activity in the manufacturing, trade, and transportation sectors, and the movement of these agricultural exports requires data processing, financial, legal, managerial, and administrative services. This additional economic activity is estimated annually by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) using an agricultural trade multiplier that measures the employment and output effects of trade in farm and food products on the U.S. economy. In 2019, U.S. agricultural exports valued at $142 billion generated an additional $160 billion in economic activity, for a total of $302 billion in economic output. This means that on average, every dollar of U.S. agricultural product exported generated an additional $1.13 of domestic economic activity. No sector outside of crop and livestock production benefited more than the services, trade, and transportation sector, which generated $88 billion worth of additional economic activity because of U.S. agricultural exports. On the farm, agricultural exports supported an additional $31 billion of business activity beyond the value of the agricultural exports themselves. This chart is drawn from ERS’s Agricultural Trade Multiplier, released April 2021. Note: ERS’s agricultural trade multiplier relies on an estimate of $141.6 billion for U.S. agricultural exports in 2019. This value includes exports of biodiesel, which USDA does not classify as an agricultural product, in addition to the $141.2 billion of exports identified by USDA as agricultural using the World Trade Organization’s definition of agricultural products.
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