America is the global leader in agriculture. The agricultural sector provides jobs for more than 21 million American workers, or 15% of the total U.S. workforce. Agriculture and agriculture-related industries contributed $776 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product in 2012, a 4.8-percent share. U.S. agricultural exports more than doubled from 2006 to 2013 and continue to rise.
To maintain its role as a global leader in agriculture, the United States must ensure that federal food regulations are efficiently developed, based on sound science and the best data available, consider actual health risks, and avoid unnecessary burdens to the nation’s farms, 97% of which are owned by families.
The U.S. Chamber’s priorities include:
- Food Safety. Ensure that the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 is sensibly and effectively implemented without unduly burdening the food industry, American farmers, and consumers.
- Farm Bill. Support efforts to enact a sensible farm bill to strengthen domestic agriculture and food production, increase exports, and promote competition and low food prices.
- Sugar Program. Work to reform U.S. sugar price support and production quota programs that will allow buyers and sellers to conduct business in a competitive marketplace, without unnecessary and costly government intrusion. The sugar program, which keeps U.S. sugar prices artificially high, has raised consumer costs by $4 billion.
- Food Product Advertising. Help ensure that food product advertising regulation does not unduly hinder competition or limit consumer choice and is consistent with all applicable laws and the First Amendment.