ASI Joins with Agricultural Export Coalition in Calling for Increased Federal Funding for Export Programs
This week, ASI joined with over 120 other members of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports, urging leaders of the House Committee on Agriculture to increase funding for USDA export programs in the new farm bill to generate additional demand for U.S. farm products in an increasingly competitive global market.
In a Sept. 19, 2017, letter to Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX), and Ranking Minority Member Collin Peterson (D-MN), coalition members urged that funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) be increased to $400 million annually and funding for the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program be increased to $69 million annually. The coalition called for phasing in the additional funding over the life of the next farm bill.
MAP and FMD are cost-share programs. Overall, producers and other participants contributed matching funds representing 70 percent of total program funds in 2016. Federal MAP funding has been apportioned at an annual level of $200 million since 2006 and FMD at its annual level of $34.5 million since 2002. Since then, inflation and a depreciated U.S. dollar have reduced the promotional power of that funding almost 30 percent. Sequestration and USDA administrative expenses have also significantly reduced annual program funding.
The letter can be viewed on the ASI Positions page, under Farm Bill: here