USDA announced that dozens of export issues were resolved in 2012, freeing up an estimated $4 billion in agricultural exports. This was done by eliminating barriers, opening new markets, securing the release of U.S. shipments detained at foreign ports, and ensuring the safe movement of agricultural products consistent with science and international standards. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, “Since 2009, USDA has acted to remove hundreds of unfair barriers to trade for American companies and is providing businesses with the resources they need to reach new markets. These efforts have resulted in the most successful period in history for American agriculture and a boon for America's rural economies and agriculture-related businesses."