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Ernst Calls on the Biden Administration to Increase Agricultural Exports

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting a $30.5 billion agricultural trade deficit for fiscal year 2024.

WASHINGTON – During National Agriculture Week, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is calling out the Biden administration's failure to prioritize trade.

Ernst joined her colleagues in urging U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to increase U.S. agricultural exports and improve the competitiveness of U.S. products abroad.  

“We expect trade to fluctuate in response to macroeconomic factors and market conditions,” wrote the senators. “However, the current sharp decline in U.S. agricultural exports is directly attributable to and exacerbated by an unambitious U.S. trade strategy that is failing to meaningfully expand market access or reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. While the Biden administration continually refuses to pursue traditional free trade agreements, China, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and others continue to ink trade pacts that diminish American export opportunities and global economic influence.”

“Diminishing access to foreign agricultural markets for U.S. industries creates significant economic headwinds and jeopardizes the livelihoods of more than one million American workers, farmers, and ranchers, as well as millions more U.S. jobs throughout the export supply chain,” they concluded.

Read the full letter here.


Ernst has long fought to protect and expand export opportunities for Iowans by improving the proactive enforcement of U.S. agreements at the USTR and USDA. Her Prioritizing Offensive Agricultural Disputes and Enforcement Act would create a joint task force between the two agencies, removing bureaucratic barriers that prevent proper communication and limit our country’s ability to prevent and respond to broken trade agreements.

Ernst is also leading the Expanding Agricultural Exports Act to strengthen the Market Access Program and Foreign Marketing Development Program, helping build strong commodity markets overseas and new export opportunities for Iowa farmers.