Ag Ambassador Visits Boise To Highlight Trade And Jobs

Wednesday marks World Trade Day in Idaho.  Companies throughout the state sold nearly $6 billion worth of exports last year.   That’s about 10% of everything Idaho produces.  As part of the day’s events, Boise State hosts a top U.S. trade negotiator.  Ambassador Isi Siddiqui will highlight international trade and American jobs.   

As the United State’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Siddiqui travels around the world to open foreign markets to food and ag products.   He'll be on the Boise State campus playing up what the Obama Administration has done to sell more U.S. goods.   Siddiqui says " It’s unbelievable.  We have increased agricultural exports by 39.4 %." 

Siddiqui says agriculture has been a leader in the nation’s economic recovery the past two years.  He says that's lead to job growth.  That’s important for Idaho because food and agriculture are top exports.  Damien Bard is with Idaho’s Department of Commerce.  He says any discussion about Idaho exports should include semiconductors, and products that marry ag and high tech.  "That nexus, I think, between computers, microelectronics, agriculture, supply chain is really important in Idaho," according to Bard.

U.S. Census Bureau data show that Idaho’s exports last year set a record.  Mining products, fertilizer, and paper products were also top five exports. 

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio