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U.S. Ag Trade Rep Says Exports Key

Richard Crowder, chief agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, predicts $77 billion in ag exports in 2007.

Agricultural exports will continue to be a major source of income for U.S. farmers and ranchers, according to Richard Crowder, chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Exports account for a quarter of agricultural cash receipts each year, with $77 billion expected in exports in 2007.

Speaking at the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual meeting Monday, Crowder said, "Trade is fundamental for U.S. agriculture. And agriculture is fundamental for U.S. trade."

Crowder says the administration has undertaken a series of trade negotiations in the past year, including helping to implement the Central American Free Trade Agreement. Crowder would like to see Congress quickly ratify trade measures and extend the president's trade promotion authority.

Work on an international trading framework continues, Crowder says, despite the suspension of the WTO's Doha round of trade talks.

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