LANSING – In a letter to the incoming Trump administration, the Agricultural Leaders of Michigan (ALM) today emphasized the value of agricultural trade for Michigan’s economy – noting that Michigan producers and agribusinesses export more than $3 billion worth of products globally, every year.
“Exports are a bright spot and a necessary economic activity for America’s agriculture sector,” wrote the executives of seven agricultural commodity and agribusiness groups spanning Michigan agriculture. “Agricultural exports are a positive factor on the nation’s trade balance, and an engine to help grow the U.S. economy. We support efforts to maintain strong international markets that benefit Michigan farmers and businesses – and encourage you to do all you can to forge new markets that can help keep American agriculture competitive on the world stage.”
The letter notes that existing agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, have been a net positive for Michigan agriculture – resulting in billions of dollars in annual exports and supporting nearly 24,000 jobs in the state.
In addition to maintaining these existing markets, the letter calls for continuing work to secure deals that enhance market access for U.S. agricultural products in the Asia/Pacific region, and emerging markets in South America, Cuba and beyond.
“Domestic markets alone can’t consume Michigan’s production of grain, dairy, pork, processed food products, biofuels, nursery crops, fruits and vegetables,” wrote the executives. “We have to export! That’s also why our industry is consistently working to be proactive, looking ahead to how we can expand market access and break down barriers for Michigan agriculture products.”
ALM leaders include:
- Dave Armstrong, GreenStone Farm Credit Services
- Jim Byrum, Michigan Agri-Business Association
- Jim Zook, Michigan Corn Growers Association
- Ken Nobis, Michigan Milk Producers Association
- Mary Kelpinski, Michigan Pork Producers Association
- Gail Frahm, Michigan Soybean Association
- Mike Wenkel, Potato Growers of Michigan, Inc.