U.S. Congressman Max Miller Leads Letter Highlighting Mounting Agriculture Trade Deficit

Feb 26, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Max Miller (OH-07), along with John Duarte (CA-13), Angie Craig (MN-02), and Randy Feenstra (IA-04), today led a bipartisan letter of 22 members calling attention to the mounting agriculture trade deficit, which has nearly doubled in the last year according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The deficit has had a large impact on Ohio farm economies and American leadership in international agriculture trade.   

The letter, directed to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative, reinforces the need to establish a robust trade agenda by echoing concerns of a broad cross-section of agriculture entities, many of which, through the President’s Export Council, have called on the Administration to expand export market opportunities.  

“International trade is critical to Ohio’s agricultural producers,” said Congressman Max Miller. “It bolsters our local economies by growing jobs and helps to keep the world fed, all while supporting American industry. The U.S. must maintain steadfast leadership in the international marketplace and hold our trading partners to their commitments that allow our economies to thrive.”  

“As a Valley farmer, I’m proud to join this bipartisan letter urging this Administration to expand markets,” said Congressman John Duarte. “Failure to act has caused our nation to go from a $40 billion agricultural trade surplus to a $30 billion deficit over the past decade. This is unacceptable and an outcome that our economy cannot afford. We must maintain America’s role as a global agricultural leader. Our farmers and working families depend on it.” 

 “Our agricultural trade deficit has significantly worsened partly due to the Biden administration’s failure to negotiate new trade agreements that benefit American agriculture. As the breadbasket to the world, we must work to ensure that our farmers and producers have access to new markets so that they can sell their goods and make a profit,” said Congressman Randy Feenstra. “Representing the second-largest agriculture-producing district in the U.S. House of Representatives, I urge President Biden to take immediate action to strengthen our trading relations around the globe and foster new relationships for the good of our producers.”

“National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) appreciates the efforts of Reps. Miller, Craig, Duarte, Feenstra and other Members signing to encourage new export opportunities for dairy farmers and cooperatives,” said Gregg Doud, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “Today’s bipartisan letter to the administration emphasizes why the U.S. must lead in seeking agreements that reduce trade barriers and in urging that existing trade deals be enforced. Both are crucial for U.S. dairy exporters to compete fairly.” 

“Consistent access to international markets is essential for the growth and success of U.S. dairy exporters,” said Krysta Harden, President and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. “Regrettably, while our competitors advance new market-opening agreements, the United States is lagging. Representatives Miller, Craig, Duarte and Feenstra and others signing continuous advocacy for U.S. agricultural export interests, including their role in conveying this significant bipartisan message to the Administration, is highly valued.” 

“The Corn Refiners Association salutes the bipartisan House of Representatives letter reaching out to work with the Biden administration to open agriculture market access. The U.S. has not signed a new market opening trade agreement in a decade. Now is the time to pursue a new agreement to expand market access and remain competitive at a global scale. Thoughtful, bipartisan leadership from our government can strengthen America economically and strategically, said John Bode, President and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association.  

“Ohio farmers currently reeling from decreased annual incomes view the increasing trade deficit over the past two years as another hit to the future of the agricultural industry. The Ohio Farm Bureau thanks Congressman Miller for his leadership as his letter emphasizes the difficulties farmers face because international trade is ultimately an important component to their bottom line,” said the Ohio Farm Bureau. 

“The importance of maintaining and growing international markets is critical to the ongoing success and survival of Ohio’s pig farmer,” said Nick Seger, President of the Ohio Pork Council. “Frankly, it’s our ability to export our U.S. pork that has made the difference in keeping our industry from suffering even more that it has over the last couple of years, so whatever our nation’s leaders can do to foster a better balance of trade will only help keep our agricultural and rural economies viable so that they can continue providing thousands of off-farm jobs that economically benefit our state as well.” 

The letter was led by Representatives Max Miller (OH-07), John Duarte (CA-13), Angie Craig (MN-02), and Randy Feenstra (IA-04), along with 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). 

The full letter is available here

Editor’s note regarding Congressman Miller:  

Congressman Max Miller represents Ohio’s Seventh District which includes Medina and Wayne counties as well as parts of Cuyahoga and Holmes counties. Miller serves on the House Agriculture Committee and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, for which he is also Chairman of the Environment Subcommittee. The Republican freshman members selected Miller as their representative to the Republican Steering Committee.  He is a member of the Republican Study Committee, Main Street Caucus, and the Congressional Jewish Caucus. Before joining Congress, Miller spent six years in the Marine Corps Reserves and served in several senior positions for President Donald Trump. Please visit http://maxmiller.house.gov for more information. 


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