12/14/21 • Trade

New Report from Corn Refiners Association Shows U.S. Trade Falling Behind Global Competitors

Tracking U.S. trade agreements since 2010, the report suggests the U.S. has taken an observer-status on global trade, risking economic competitiveness, opportunity

December 14, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) released a new report revealing the United States is behind its competitors in reducing global trade barriers. The report, which tracked trade agreements since 2010, shows that several nations have outpaced the U.S. in the creation of new bilateral and multilateral trade arrangements, including China, Japan, the European Union, and Canada. At the same time, U.S. trade partners are pressing forward with new trade agreements without us, risking diminished American economic competitiveness and investment opportunities in critical regions around the world.

The report’s analysis will be discussed today during a virtual meeting hosted by Farmers for Free Trade on the competitiveness of American agriculture exports, featuring U.S. Representative Jim Costa (D-CA-16) and top industry stakeholders and experts.

“This report validates what the Corn Refiners Association has been calling attention to for some time now – the U.S. position on international trade has increasingly taken an observer status as our global partners move forward without us on economically sound, advantageous agreements,” said John Bode, President and CEO of CRA. “The findings should alarm all U.S. private and public trade stakeholders, but it is particularly imperative that our agriculture industry leaders recognize the importance of pursing market access through bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. We must act swiftly on these issues to reaffirm American leadership and maintain our status as a leading voice in global trade regulations and standards.”

Key findings and analysis include:

  • While the U.S. has completed four trade agreements since 2010, including the modernization of an existing agreement, China has entered into 10 new agreements, Japan has entered into seven, the EU has entered into eight, and Canada has entered into eight.
  • Several key U.S. trade partners are outpacing the U.S. in the benefits of their trade policies, with the EU and China experiencing lower tariffs and other reduced trade barriers on an estimated $553 billion and $420 billion in total trade, compared with the U.S.’ $171 billion.
  • Regional trade agreements like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) are particularly powerful tools to accelerate and deepen economic influence and integration of the signatory countries. Despite this, reconsideration of the prior administration’s withdrawal from CPTPP has been rejected in favor of pursuit of a still undefined Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
  • Shifting U.S. trade policy into a more forward leaning posture to open foreign markets and expand trade fosters U.S. global competitiveness and in turn secures benefits for the U.S. economy, American workers, and consumers.

The full analysis is available here. Register HERE to join the event today at 10:45 AM ET, where the report’s findings and other related topics will be discussed among speakers representing the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, the U.S. Grains Council and the U.S. Meat Export Federation.


The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, starch, advanced bioproducts, corn oil and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein and fiber.