USDA projects US agricultural exports will surge to $145 billion in 2013, up from $96.3 billion in 2009. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak credits the marketing efforts of US food companies and organizations.
“Since 2009, more than 1,000 US companies and organizations—mainly small and medium-sized businesses—participated in 110 USDA-endorsed trade shows in 24 countries, racking up 12-month projected sales estimated at more than $4.2 billion,” Vilsak says. “We’ve led nearly 150 US businesses on trade missions to China, Colombia, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Vietnam and Russia.”
Exports may also have been aided by three new free trade agreements—with Panama, Colombia and South Korea—that took effect in 2012.