U.S. agricultural exports generated additional $190.5 billion in economic activity in 2021
Exports constitute a significant market for U.S. farm and food products and send ripples of activity through the Nation’s economy. For instance, exports of grain first generate economic activity on the farm through purchases of inputs such as fuel and fertilizer, spurring additional economic activity in the manufacturing, trade, and transportation sectors. Moving grain to the export market 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. U.S. agricultural exports valued at $177.3 billion in 2021 generated an additional $190.5 billion in economic activity, for a total of $367.8 billion in economic output. This means that on average, every $1 of U.S. agricultural product exported generated a total of $2.07 of domestic economic activity. The services, trade, and transportation sector benefited the most from agricultural exports, generating an estimated $79.5 billion worth of additional economic activity. On the farm, agricultural exports supported an additional $43.6 billion of business activity beyond the value of the agricultural exports themselves. This chart is drawn from ERS’s Agricultural Trade Multiplier, released March 2023.
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