The bill will double funds for agricultural export promotion programs 2022-09-23

Three senators introduced a bill Friday to double funding for two popular agricultural export promotion programs that supporters say play a key role in increasing sales of American cotton, meat, wheat, corn, soybeans and other agricultural goods to foreign buyers around the world.

The CREAATE Act was authored by Sen. Angus King, I-Me., and co-sponsored by Iowa Republicans Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, and Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn. If passed, it would double mandatory annual funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) to $400 million and the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) to $69 million.

“MAP funding has not increased from $200 million since 2006, and foot-and-mouth disease funding has not changed from $34.5 million since 2002, but our foreign competition in most global markets, including wheat, has increased,” the US chairwoman said Friday. Wheat Associates Rhonda Larson. “To deal with this challenge over the years, the USW has closed offices and reduced staff to protect the export demand for wheat in our main markets. With the additional funds from MAP and FMD, we could expand our promotion efforts into more commercial markets.”

In recent years, promotion activities abroad have increased significantly. First, during the government shutdown at the end of 2018, funding for MAP, FMD, and other programs such as the Developing Country Program and the Special Crops Technical Assistance Program was cut. Then the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed many of the in-person events hosted by American farm groups. visit abroad.

Groups like the US Wheat Associates say their members produce some of the world’s best grain, and the group is using MAP and FMD to show overseas processors how best to use it for bread, noodles and cookies.

A Cornell study last year concluded that every dollar spent on MAP and FMD generates about $20 in federal and state taxes.

MAP and FMD “are especially important as foreign competitors continue to spend far more on market development and food and agricultural export promotion than the US,” said National Council of Farmers Cooperatives President Chuck Conner.

And these programs are more important than ever as countries around the world join new preferential free trade agreements and foreign competitors such as the European Union increase their marketing efforts, says the umbrella trade group Ag Exports Count.

“Investments in US export promotion programs have not kept pace with foreign competition, putting the US at a competitive disadvantage,” the organization said in a statement. “The economic impact of US export promotion programs continues to decline. MAP has remained static since 2006, and one-third of its funding has been lost to forfeitures, inflation, and program administration. Foot-and-mouth disease has also remained static and has not increased since 2002.”

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