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Abstract

Foreign markets can provide new economic opportunities for agricultural producers. However, the costs of accessing those markets are beyond the capacity of many independent agents, while the benefits are probably too narrow to suggest a federal role. Because of environmental and historical differences, states have particular interests in specific commodities (e.g., Washington’s apples, Florida’s oranges, and Wisconsin’s cheese). Thus, when independent agents lack capacity due to their small scale, it falls to the state to provide market research, technical support, and promotional activities to establish its producers in a foreign market. While the costs of such services are probably not warranted from the perspective of a single producer, they may be negligible compared to the long term gains to that state economy from dynamic trade relations.

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