A Reliable Waterway System Is Important to Agriculture describes the importance of marine transportation to fiscal 2018 agricultural exports, forecast at $144 billion. Agriculture will provide a $19.5 billion trade surplus to the American economy, with imports forecast at $124.5 billion. Forestry and fishery products, and critical farm inputs such as fertilizer, feed, and fuel move on the waterway system as well. Exports are responsible for 20 percent of U.S. farm income, also driving rural economic activity and supporting more than one million American jobs on and off the farm.
Consistent with established practices, this report only considers those trade actions which are in place or have had formal announcement of effective dates as of the time of publication of the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates on September 12, 2018 and the quarterly Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade on August 29, 2018. Further, unless a formal end date is specified, this report also assumes such actions are in place throughout the time period covered by these forecasts.