As a leading producer of cattle, cotton, sheep, goats and mohair, Texas is a major player in the worldwide agricultural marketplace. Our $100 billion agriculture industry is a powerhouse of production that is relied upon everyday by our state, nation and the world.
In recognition of World Trade Month each May, I hope our nation's leadership continues to work with Texas producers to foster free trade agreements with countries such as Columbia, Panama and South Korea. These countries hold a great deal of promise for Texas producers, but political issues remain that hinder mutually beneficial trade partnerships. Recent trade breakthroughs in Russia and China are encouraging and should serve as models of shared success.
With 96 percent of the world's consumers living outside the United States and with agricultural exports accounting for nearly one-third of Texas' total agricultural cash receipts, we depend on foreign trading partners as much as they depend on us. Let's hope World Trade Month serves as a healthy reminder to Texas and the world that open trade is better than closed doors.