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Ranking Member Joyce Opening Statement at Hearing on Agriculture and Trade

Ranking Member Joyce Opening Statement at Hearing on Agriculture and Trade

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship met for a hearing titled, “The Small Business Trade Snapshot: Agriculture and Workers.”  Ranking Member John Joyce (R-PA) delivered the following opening statement:

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Madam Chairwoman, for holding this hearing.  Special thanks to Mr. Glenn Stoltzfus, for joining us from Pennsylvania’s 13th District.

American farmers nourish families, both here and across the world. On average, 20 percent of total agricultural production value is sold in international markets.  Some commodities, such as cotton and almonds, are almost entirely dependent on overseas customers. The benefits of agricultural trade expand well beyond the cotton and almond industries.

In 2017, $138 billion of agricultural exports generated an additional $179 billion in economic activity; resulting in a total economic output of $317 billion. The industry supported 1.16 million full-time civilian jobs, which included 795 thousand jobs off the farm.

Farms and businesses along the export chain have evolved to meet global demand; they must weather fluctuations in commodity prices, the global economy, and trade dynamics.  In 2018, the industry was hit with retaliatory tariffs on nearly 1,000 food and agriculture products, with an estimated impact of $11 billion dollars.

To mitigate damage suffered by U.S. producers, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue initiated a $12 billion assistance package that is being delivered through 3 temporary programs.

We are here today to examine how trade disruptions impact U.S. agriculture and resonating impacts on the rural and national economy. Thank you to our distinguished witnesses, especially the gentleman from my district, and I yield back.