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America's farmers and ranchers depend on trade, and we look forward to working with you and your Administration to promote U.S. food and agriculture around the world.
U.S. agriculture is an unparalleled American success story. Agriculture and related industries contributed $835 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2014, and our industry employs millions of hardworking Americans. In 2014, 17.3 million full- and part-time jobs were related to agriculture - more than 9% of total U.S. employment.
None of this would be possible without trade. Twenty percent of U.S. ag products are exported. Access to foreign markets, trade promotion, and trade agreements are all essential to creating positive farm income throughout America.
As one of more than 300,000 corn farmers in America, I'm asking you to pursue trade policies and agreements that will protect the interests of American agriculture. U.S. farmers' largest foreign markets in FY2016 were China (nearly $27 billion), Canada (more than $24 billion), and Mexico (nearly $19 billion). Mexico is the #1 foreign market for U.S. corn. Disrupting agricultural exports to these nations would have devastating consequences for farmers like me, and the many industries and workers our industry supports.
We also need to expand access to new markets, particularly in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region. New fair trade agreements will give U.S. farmers and ranchers the opportunity to compete and win around the world.
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We welcome the opportunity to work with you and your Administration to identify new global trade opportunities that will benefit American workers, consumers, and farmers.