Global Growth, Macroeconomic Change, and U.S. Agricultural Trade
After a decade of uneven export growth and rapidly growing imports, U.S. agriculture has begun to reassert its position in global trade markets. Rising exports and signs of moderating demand for imports mark a departure from previous trends. This report places past trends and emerging developments in perspective by spotlighting the role of two specific factors that help steer U.S. agricultural trade patterns: global growth and shifts in foreign economic activity that affect U.S. exports, and macroeconomic factors underlying the growth of U.S. imports. Consistent with actual changes in the level and destination of U.S. exports, model simulations corroborate the contention that renewed export growth can be sustained by expanding incomes and growing food import demand in emerging economies. In contrast, the rapid growth of U.S. agricultural imports appears less related to domestic income growth than to changing consumer preferences and other, perhaps less sustainable, macroeconomic conditions that fostered the growth of U.S. current account deficits.
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