The most successful export promotion and development programs could be threatened if Congress fails to take action on a new five-year Farm Bill.
The most successful export promotion and development programs could be threatened if Congress fails to take action on a new five-year Farm Bill. This was the message in a letter from over 130 agricultural organizations to the leadership of the House of Representatives. The letter from the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports said, “With the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill on Sept. 30, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service currently has no authority to run market promotion and development programs, including the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) for FY13. Loss of this funding will seriously compromise critical day-to-day export market development and promotion activities, thereby putting American farmers and workers at a substantial competitive disadvantage in the international marketplace.” A study commissioned by USDA found that for every additional dollar expended by government and industry on MAP and FMD since 2002, U.S. food and agricultural exports increased by $35 or a 35-to-1 return on investment. Those signing the letter included American Soybean Association, CoBank, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Union, National Milk Producers Federation, National Turkey Federation and the U.S. Meat Export Federation.