Senators request study on Brazil's agricultural markets

In recent years, Brazil’s exports have grown substantially and changed the market for U.S. producers, resulting in declining market share in certain countries for certain products. 

In 2010, one-third of all U.S. agricultural sales were made abroad, creating a $116 billion market that supports 1 million American jobs, according to the Senate Finance Committee.

“This report will give us valuable insight into the relationship between Brazil's agricultural policies and market conditions and our agricultural exports,” Baucus said. "It is critical that we continue to increase our exports and understanding in order to stay competitive as countries like Brazil grow.”

Baucus, Hatch and former ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have previously requested and obtained reports from the ITC on the Chinese and Indian agricultural sectors. 

"With its significant growth in agricultural exports in recent years, Brazil has emerged as a major competitor for U.S. agricultural producers in the international market,” Hatch said. 

The United States and Brazil are two of the few countries that can boost farm exports to meet increasing global demand, Baucus said.  

The lawmakers asked for the report to cover 2006-2010 and focus on the global meat, grains and oilseeds markets. They requested its completion within 11 months. 

The letter outlined specifics that should be included:

• An analysis of agricultural markets in Brazil, including recent trends in production, consumption and trade.

• A description of the competitive factors affecting the agricultural sector in Brazil, in such areas as costs of production, transportation and marketing infrastructure, technology, exchange rates, domestic support and government programs related to agricultural markets.

 • A description of the growth of Brazilian multinational agribusiness firms and their effects on global food supply chains.

• A description of the principal trade measures affecting U.S. and Brazilian exports of meat, grain and oilseed products in major third-country export markets, including sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade.

 • A quantitative analysis of the economic effects of preferential tariffs negotiated under Brazil's free trade agreements on U.S. and Brazilian exports of meat, grain and oilseed products, as well as the economic effects of selected non-tariff measures on U.S. and Brazilian exports of meat, grain and oilseed products in major third-country export markets.