Exports will be the focus of two highly anticipated sessions on Thursday, Feb. 24 during this year’s Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Va. USDA’s latest quarterly export forecast will be released that same day and will surely serve as a springboard for a lively discussion on the benefits of exporting as well as the role of agriculture in President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI).
The first export session is titled, “Foreign Trade and the National Export Initiative.” The goal of NEI is to double overall U.S. exports by 2014. As reported by USDA on Feb. 11, U.S. farm exports reached an all-time high of $115.8 billion in calendar year 2010. Increased agricultural exports will play a key role in supporting farm income and revitalizing rural communities; removing trade barriers and moving forward on new trade agreements will also be vital. Speakers will include Janet Nuzum, associate administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), USDA, who will speak on the Administration’s export goals and impacts on U.S. agriculture; Tom Suber, president, U.S. Dairy Export Council, who will discuss confronting technical barriers to trade; and Gary Blumenthal, president and CEO, World Perspectives, Inc., who will cover industry requirements for export success.
The second export session, titled, “Export Opportunities in Rapid Growth Markets,” will focus on key markets in Asia and Africa. The session will look at some of these fast growing markets and focus on the challenges in key importing nations and prospects for further demand for U.S. agricultural exports. Speakers will include Rebecca J. Bratter, director of trade development for the U.S. Grains Council; Mike Dwyer, director, Office of Global Analysis, USDA FAS; and John Baize, president of John C. Baize and Associates. Speakers will discuss the outlook for agricultural exports to Peru and Colombia and the emergence of Southeast Asia as a top U.S. market. This topic will be particularly timely as China recently emerged as the top market for U.S. agricultural exports in calendar year 2010.
To learn more and register for the Forum, please visit our website.