3/1/24 • Trade

Corn Refiners Association Salutes Recent Hill Actions Supporting U.S. Agriculture Economic Growth

March 1, 2024

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Corn Refiners Association salutes two letters by members of the House of Representatives to the Biden Administration emphasizing the importance of a proactive trade agenda for American agriculture as the increasing agricultural trade deficit stands to impact the nation’s standing in the global economy.

“A November 2023 announcement from the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) predicts a $30.5 billion agricultural trade deficit in FY2024, a significant increase from the already record-high agriculture trade deficit of $16.6 billion in FY2023. The ERS estimates value declines from FY2023 levels in U.S. exports of corn, soybeans, livestock, poultry, dairy, and seafood. These figures are concerning and signal the need for the Administration to act now to open new markets for the benefit of U.S. farmers and workers,” said Corn Refiners Association President and CEO John Bode.  

“The Agriculture Trade Caucus Co-Chairs and House colleagues have urged the Administration to prioritize agriculture in its trade agenda in their letter to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); this was followed by a bipartisan letter from twenty-two House Representatives calling for solutions to the agriculture trade deficit. We are encouraged by the swift, bipartisan response and are eager to work with the many U.S. Representatives who sent letters to reduce barriers for U.S. exports, strengthen trade relations and expand market access. CRA stands ready to assist efforts to increase the U.S. economy and support our nation’s farmers,” Bode concluded.

In their letter on February 20, 2024, the Co-Chairs of the Agriculture Trade Caucus alongside twenty-four of their colleagues in the House urged the Biden Administration to make agriculture a priority in its trade agenda by reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers for American agricultural exports. The members submitted the letter to encourage enforceable agreements that open markets and reduce existing barriers through bilateral and multilateral engagement.

The letter was led by the Co-Chairs of the Agriculture Trade Caucus: Representatives Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Adrian Smith (NE-03), Jim Costa (CA-21), and Dusty Johnson (SD-AL); additional signers included Representatives Mike Thompson (CA-04), Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-15), Josh Harder (CA-09), Don Bacon (NE-02), Don Davis (NC-01), John Duarte (CA-13), Andrea Salinas (OR-06), Mary Miller (IL-15), Elissa Slotkin (MI-07), Mark Alford (MO-04), Dan Kildee (MI-08), Ashley Hinson (IA-02), Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL), Drew Ferguson (GA-03), John Moolenaar (MI-02), Darin LaHood (IL-16), Brad Finstad (MN-01), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Michelle Fischbach (MN-07), Randy Feenstra (IA-04), Beth Van Duyne (TX-24), Gregory Murphy, M.D. (NC-03), Jim Baird (IN-04), and Zach Nunn (IA-03).

More information on the Agriculture Trade Caucus letter is available on Representative Panetta’s website.

On February 26, 2024, Representatives Max Miller (OH-07), John Duarte (CA-13), Angie Craig (MN-02), and Randy Feenstra (IA-04), led a bipartisan letter to USTR and USDA of twenty-two House members calling for the administration to address the agriculture trade deficit by strengthening international trade relations that will grow the nation’s global competitive standing and expand states’ agriculture economy.

The letter was also signed by Representatives Glenn Thompson (PA-15), Mary Miller (IL-15), Don Bacon (NE-02), Donald Davis (NC-01), Brad Finstad (MN-01), Kat Cammack (FL-03), Mark Alford (MO-04), Nicholas Langworthy (NY-23), Zachary Nunn (IA-03), Darin LaHood (IL-16), Tracey Mann (KS-01), Austin Scott (GA-08), Trent Kelly (MS-01), John Rose (TN-06), Jim Baird (IN-04), Eric Crawford (AR-01), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), and Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06).

More information on the letter is available on Representative Miller’s website.

In addition, collective ongoing efforts from the agriculture industry to engage the Hill resulted in twenty U.S. food and agriculture organizations delivering a letter to Congress on February 15, 2024, encouraging Congress to work with the current and future Administrations to prioritize specific steps the United States can take to open new markets. 


About The Corn Refiners Association (CRA)

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.