A coalition of industry groups is calling on lawmakers to support ag export markets. More than 100 industry groups are pushing for full funding of marketing programs under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The coalition recently sent letters to the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee chairs and ranking members. The agriculture and business groups encourage full funding for USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program.
“The twin challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as competitors’ export promotion programs, highlight the need for continued investment in these public-private partnerships,” the group stated in the letter. “MAP/FMD funding is critical to help U.S. farmers, ranchers and food exporters keep pace and to help us make up for lost time after two and half years of trade conflict and retaliatory tariffs.”
The industry groups point to significant funding from the European Commission to support promotional programs for agricultural products in the European Union. As markets begin to reopen globally, the coalition asserts that support is needed to ensure the viability of ag export markets for American products. The letter sent to lawmakers also details some of the successes of the MAP and FMD programs in helping support U.S. agriculture’s global competitiveness. The two programs are touted as being shining examples of what public-private partnerships can achieve. More than $28 in export gains is achieved by every dollar that is invested, according to the coalition.
“We ask that you provide $255 million for Agricultural Trade Promotion and Facilitation and that within this amount, MAP receive at least $200 million and the FMD program receive at least $34.5 million. Working to expand our export markets requires every dollar these programs provide,” the letter states. “Fruitful trade partnerships take time, and these funds for such activities as buyers’ missions, trade shows, and in-country meetings go a long way toward promoting U.S. agricultural trade.”