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Washington Week in Review: Aug. 7, 2020: Rep. Glenn Thompson on COVID aid, new farm bill

Negotiations on new coronavirus aid from Capitol Hill are showing no signs of real progress, leaving many to wonder what the relief picture will look like for production agriculture and federal nutrition assistance. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., joins Agri-Pulse to discuss the state of those talks and how farm policy might respond to the pandemic and other challenges in the years to come.

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Ag by the numbers

Destinations of U.S. agricultural exports have shifted over last quarter centurySharesofexportERSchart

The United States is the world’s second largest agricultural trader after the European Union. U.S. agricultural exports have grown significantly over the last quarter century, from $46.1 billion in 1994 to $136.7 billion in 2019. The elimination of agricultural trade barriers as a result of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)—superseded by the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in July 2020—nearly quadrupled exports (by value) to Canada and Mexico. Coinciding with policy developments, rising household incomes and changing trade policies in developing East and Southeast Asia have driven export growth, especially for China, whose share of U.S. agricultural exports more than quadrupled from 3 percent during 1994-2000 to 14 percent during 2010-19. Meanwhile, there has been a sharp decline in the share going to Europe and high-income East Asia, particularly Japan. These charts are drawn from the Economic Research Service product, U.S. Agricultural Trade at a Glance.