Representative Scott Garrett (R-NJ) recently introduced an amendment to eliminate funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) in the FY2011 budget’s Continuing Resolution, which is currently being deliberated on the floor of the House of Representatives, according to a recent edition of the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) Global Update. Elimination of MAP funding was called for by the Simpson/Bowles Deficit Reduction Commission and the Republican Study Committee comprised of 175 House Republicans.

“As Congress continues its fiscal policy debate, the threat to both MAP and Foreign Market Development (FMD) and the future of the U.S. Grains Council has never been more real,” explains the Global Update article. MAP and FMD program funds are used to leverage USGC resources for international market development.

MAP funding helped the USGC’s worldwide promotion of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), which increased exports to an estimated 8 million tons in 2010.

“When you see the dramatic increase in DDGS purchases in Chile, China, Egypt, Japan, Morocco and Thailand in 2010, you’re seeing the results of MAP and FMD spending. It’s the combination of MAP, FMD and industry dollars that pays for the educational seminars and feeding trials to produce new markets,” explains Floyd Gaibler, USGC director of trade policy.

“For every dollar we’ve jointly invested in market development programs, we’ve seen U.S. food and agriculture exports increase by $35,” he adds.

In a 2009 Informa Economics evaluation, the total return for USDA’s cooperator program investments in market development is $50.30 annually for every dollar invested, and the USGC’s development efforts alone are worth $915.7 million to U.S. feed grain farmers, states the Global Update report.