What Does the U.S. Export? How Does Fumigation Support U.S. Exports?

February 2023 Issue By:  Jeff Waggoner, ACE



According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States exported $114B worth of gasoline.  Mostly to Mexico, Canada, and Chile.  Exports of gasoline and other fuel products were up over 26% from 2021.  Not surprising given the current state of affairs around the world.  The U.S. a has great capacity to produce quality products.  Sure, you can buy cheaper products from around the world, but no one does quality at scale better than the United States.

Aside from the 3 major exports, Gasoline, Crude, and Natural Gas products, the United States exports a lot of Civilian Aircraft Parts and Passenger Vehicles.  The U.S. is also a major exporter of commodities.  China has lifted many tariffs on US commodities making them more affordable on the open market.  Over the past 3 years, the U.S. has tripled exports as China emerges once again as the largest purchaser of U. S. goods.  2023 is projected to be no different as China prepares to spend approximately $34B on US agricultural products.  Source:  www.fas.usda.gov

So, what role does fumigation play in exporting goods out of the country?  You might be surprised by the answer.  Even in the developed world, Stored Product Pests (SPP) as they are commonly known, are responsible for the destruction of or contamination of $billions worth of finished and raw products.  Aside from SPP, there are many invasive species that may find their way to foreign shores ready to wreak havoc. Historically, we can see what happens when these invasive species are unknowingly introduced to new places.  Examples:  Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Long-horned Beetle, Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Starlings, Asian Carp…  The list is extensive and goes back a long time.

Fumigation is the least toxic, most effective way of controlling these pests.  Fumigation ensures the quality and quantity of commodities, animal feed, and people’s food all over the world.  As these products move from one country to another, these pests can hitchhike and quickly establish populations if gone unchecked.  Global trade has been good in many regards.  Trade provides participating countries with access to life-saving medicine, grain, meat, and other goods that they may not normally be able to produce.  It has improved the quality of life throughout the globe.  However, there is a hidden danger and without proper precautions and effective treatment via fumigation, it can cause serious and potentially irreversible harm.

Most countries require fumigation of exported goods prior to arrival at the destination port to avoid these kinds of issues.  Fumigation is a type of pest control that uses gases to control pests.  These gases penetrate machine parts, equipment, and all kinds of commodities ranging from logs to strawberries to soybeans.  When performed correctly, fumigation ensures these products are safe from pests and safe for consumption.  The USDA regulates the process and importing countries may stipulate what kind of fumigant must be used.  FSS, Inc. maintains strict compliance with all USDA guidelines to ensure the quality of our client’s products.

Fumigation is performed far more frequently than you might imagine.  Without this important method of pest management, who knows what might happen?  We are proud to support many exporters with safe and effective treatments.