International trade supports millions of American jobs, drives economic growth, and increases global competitiveness. The United States ranks second in the world in both arable land and in the production of cereal crops, like corn, according to the World Bank. Due to the abundance and quality of our products, the U.S. corn refining industry is a key player in the international market.

Our products fill vital roles as sweeteners, animal feeds, starches, corn oil, and increasingly as advanced bioproducts like adhesives, fuels, and bioplastics. Our members are export-oriented, as 15 to 20 percent of all refined corn product shipments are exported.

Emerging markets’ growing demand for convenient and nutritious foods and industrial goods present great opportunities for U.S. corn refiners and the communities they support. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), every $1 billion in U.S. agricultural exports supports 7,550 jobs in the wider economy, underscoring how trade makes communities across the heartland richer.

While the corn refining industry continues to expand into new markets, it often faces challenges as foreign governments use high tariffs and trade-distorting domestic programs to block foreign competition. According to CRA’s latest report, Trade Agreements and U.S. Competitiveness, the U.S. is falling behind its competitors in reducing global trade barriers and creating new bilateral and multilateral trade arrangements, risking the nation’s economic competitiveness. CRA is committed to advocating for comprehensive free trade agreements that open markets and level the playing field for all industries, including ours.

CRA works with partners throughout the agriculture industry and the wider business community to dismantle tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, to encourage countries to adopt health and safety standards which are based on sound science, and to level the international legal playing field through neutral, binding dispute resolution mechanisms. We provide statistical and technical assistance to the Department of Commerce, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and to Committees and members of Congress to achieve these goals.

Did you know:

  • In 2021, U.S. corn refiners exported nearly $2.16 billion in goods, adding $4.46 billion to the U.S. economy.
  • Between 15 and 20 percent of all U.S. refined corn shipments are exported.
  • The U.S. food and agriculture industry, which is heavily reliant upon international markets, directly supports nearly 23 million jobs (15% of U.S. employment) from coast-to-coast.

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