Publication Date


Series Number

87-WP 21


This paper identifies the contributing factors that caused changes in U.S. agricultural export markets in the 1970s and 1980s and suggests key policy areas that must be addressed to improve these markets in the future. Historical analysis on the shifts in the U.S. export markets from 1970 to 1985 points out how macroeconomic policies and conditions influenced those changes. Total world grain trade and the U.S. share are essential components of the change in U.S. export levels. Variations in both components had significant impacts on U.S. agricultural exports. Using recent FAPRI projections, a declining dollar and lower commodity prices are expected to assist in a recovery of U.S. export values. Three key policy areas are identified in which progress will need to be made for the greatest market development to take place: improving economic development and income growth rates in developing countries, reducing the debt service problems of developing countries, and reducing the domestic and trade policy barriers in both developed and developing countries. Aggressive and competitive marketing strategies are recommended, including use of bilateral agreements, market intelligence, and product discrimination, where possible.

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