“A decade ago, a scenario in which the value of U.S. agricultural imports would someday exceed that of U.S. exports seemed farfetched. Indeed, the United States has been a net exporter of agricultural products since 1959, an uninterrupted span of 44 years. Today, the improbable has become probable. Since 1996, the agricultural trade surplus has shrunk from $27.3 billion (an all-time high) to $10.5 billion. Although U.S. agricultural exports continue to rise, imports are increasing nearly twice as fast.” Full Article
I found this article interesting given that I always assumed the US would have a positive agricultural trade balance. However, given globalization, every country is a competitor. Globalized companies take advantage of lower costs of land, labor, raw materials, and / or capital available outside the US. Even US companies are taking advantage of these reduced costs and supply ~15 percent of U.S. food imports through their foreign subsidiaries. Will US farmers stay a viable supplier of food or fair the same way our manufacturing industry has?
If you are interested in how the Cold War system of us vs. them was replaced by the globalized system of removing walls, integrating everything, and making everyone an able competitor, I suggest you read The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization.