Exports represent a significant market for U.S. agricultural products. For Nebraska, the value of exports each year equals roughly 30 percent of the state’s total agricultural receipts. Agricultural exports benefit not only farmers and ranchers but spills over into other sectors of the economy as well.
Manufacturing, transportation, input suppliers, financial, and legal sectors all benefit from agricultural trade. The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) estimated the additional economic activity due to trade using an agricultural trade multiplier that measures employment and output effects of agricultural trade. The ERS reported, “In 2018, U.S. agricultural exports valued at $139.6 billion generated an additional $162.9 billion in economic activity, for a total of $302.5 billion in economic output; thus, on average, every dollar of U.S. agricultural product exported generated $1.17 of additional domestic economic activity.” Figure 3 illustrates the breakdown of economic activity generated by agricultural trade. Outside agriculture, the service, trade, and transportation sectors received the greatest benefit at $88.2 billion.
Figure 3. Economic Activity Due to Agricultural Trade
Source: USDA, Economic Research Service