Trade and Agriculture
What’s at Stake for Arkansas?
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Foreign Agricultural Service
Arkansas is an important producer and exporter of agricultural products. In 2006, the
State's cash farm receipts totaled $6.2 billion. Arkansas ranked 11th among all 50 states
in 2006 with agricultural exports estimated at $1.9 billion. Agricultural exports help boost
farm prices and income, while supporting about 22,600 jobs both on the farm and off the
farm in food processing, storage, and transportation. Exports remain important to
Arkansas' agricultural and statewide economy. Measured as exports divided by farm cash
receipts, the State's reliance on agricultural exports was 31 percent in 2006.
Arkansas' top five agricultural exports in 2006 were:
rice -- $666 million
• cotton -- $536 million
• poultry and products -- $306 million
• soybeans and products -- $280 million
feed grains and fodders -- $30 million
World demand for these products is increasing, but so is competition among suppliers. If
Arkansas's farmers, ranchers, and food processors are to compete successfully for the
export opportunities of the 21st century, they need fair trade and more open access to
growing global markets.
How Trade Agreements Benefit Arkansas Agriculture
Rice, Arkansas’ number one export will benefit tremendously from recently negotiated
trade agreements. Under the U.S.-Chile FTA, Chile’s import tariff on U.S. rice falls from
6 percent to zero over 12 years. Rice will be subject to price-based safeguards until
tariffs are eliminated. If Congress ratifies the US – Dominican and Central American
FTA in its current form, U.S. rice exporters gain preferential access through duty free in-
quota access as out-of-quota tariffs are eliminated during 18 to 20-year transition periods.
During this transition period, volume-based safeguards are available to the Central
American countries. Quotas and their growth rates vary depending on the country and
type of rice.