Is it truly necessary for the United States to sell internationally just because there is a demand for it? The United States is a major player in international tobacco trade. It is the largest importer of tobacco leaf and the largest exporter of cigarettes. Until the late 1990's, the United States was also the largest exporter of tobacco leaf. In recent years, the United States has ranked second behind Brazil in tobacco leaf exports. In 1999, the United States exported about 37 percent of its total leaf production. U.S. cigarette exports peaked in 1996 at about 250 billion cigarettes. Since then, exports have fallen by 100 billion cigarettes due to lower demand and offshore production by domestic manufacturers. Cigarette imports are a minor part of U.S. consumption, reaching about 8 billion cigarettes in 1999.
Our farmers want to make a profit as well, we have people that need jobs, but with the international trade of tobacco we could create more jobs, and improve our economic status and stay on top of the world market and could possibly improve trade relations with foreign countries.
Farmers know all the profit of today's market is in tobacco, tobacco yields the highest gross margins to farmers.