Leverage Trade Policy to Tap Future Food Markets

ADurkin Article

Africa and Asia will be the world’s biggest future food markets. Three trends are driving much of their growth: more mouths to feed, an expanding middle class, and migration to cities. Right now, the U.S. market share in these regions ranges from just 10% to 25%. A shift in our trade policy could improve this.

Middle-and low-income countries are revolutionizing their food supply chains: more than 2.5 billion small scale farmers are demanding better seed, fertilizers, and crop treatments; food processing rates are skyrocketing; transportation and logistics systems are being built out; and food retail schemes are becoming more sophisticated. This food supply chain revolution will require innovation and know-how. And the American agriculture and food sector has both.

To position the U.S. to provide leadership in both regulation and supply chain transformations, we have to make it easier for companies to do businesses in middle- and low-income countries.

Gains can be made by leveraging USTR and USDA to increase the capacity of emerging regulatory systems and support infrastructure developments. We have a stake in reducing the complexity and costs of regulatory systems that prevent farmers from securing adaptive, high-yielding seeds and effective fertilizers and in promoting trade facilitation agreements to ensure food can be moved cheaply, safely, and efficiently across borders. We also have a stake in advancing rule of law and strengthening infrastructure. American agriculture must weigh in to support trade policies that lay the foundation for its future markets.

The full article authored by Andrea Durkin, Sparkplug LLC, and Lisa Moon, Vice President for Global Agriculture and Food at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs was featured in Agri-Pulse.  Read the full article here.