Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced the Agriculture Export Promotion Act of 2023alongside Reps. Tracey Mann (R-KS), Brad Finstad (R-MN), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Kim Schrier (D-WA), Jim Costa (D-CA), and Chellie Pingree (D-ME). This legislation would increase funding to U.S. Department of Agriculture export promotion programs, the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMDP), and help American farmers maintain an edge in the increasingly competitive global marketplace.
“Programs like the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program are essential for farmers and ranchers in Central Washington and across the country to help expand their customer base and market their products abroad,” said Rep. Newhouse. “The Ag Export Promotion Act will further advance the agriculture industry's capabilities to create more good-paying jobs while enabling customers around the world to enjoy Washington's high-quality, nutritious products.”
“Trade promotion is an essential function of a strong Farm Bill,” said Rep. Mann. “The return on investment from private sector contributions, which accounted for roughly 75% of export promotion between 2013 and 2019, is unparalleled. The Ag Export Promotion Act will help agricultural trade associations as they work tirelessly to ensure American producers remain competitive in the international marketplace.”
“As a farmer, I know firsthand the value of the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program, both of which are essential tools for Minnesota’s agricultural economy,” said Rep. Finstad. “Strong trade promotion policies are critical for farm country, and the U.S. economy as a whole. Targeted investments in these programs will strengthen our farm, food, and national security by establishing new markets and opening opportunities for our producers to compete on a global stage.”
“The Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program have proven to be valuable tools that help American producers access new export markets while offering a strong return on investment,” said Rep. Hinson. “The Ag Export Promotion Act will help ensure that Iowa farmers have greater resources to remain competitive in the global marketplace, improve food security, and support our rural economy.”
“Farmers, producers, and ranchers around our country depend on the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program to reach markets abroad and grow their businesses at home,” said Rep. Panetta. “The bipartisan Ag Export Promotion Act would make significant investments in those programs to ensure that our nation’s farmers and ranchers have access to the tools and resources that they need to compete in the global marketplace. Federal support to secure appropriate market access abroad creates good-paying jobs in the U.S., supports our local economies, and fortifies the future of American agriculture.”
“The Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program have proven to help local farmers and growers in my district bring their top quality products, including apples, cherries, and wheat to customers around the world, unlocking economic opportunity on a global scale for local businesses of the 8th District,” said Rep. Schrier. “I'm proud to be an original cosponsor of this legislation that increases funding for these programs to help the agriculture community facing the challenges of rising costs, supply chain issues, and low crop yields.”
“Opening and growing new markets for American-made products are critical to building our agricultural economy,” said Rep. Costa. “Food is a global security issue, and we must do all we can to reverse disruptions in trade and grow new partnerships that help deliver American products around the world.”
“Wild blueberries, potatoes, and lobsters are some of Maine’s most iconic products in the world market," said Rep. Pingree. "The Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program at USDA have been extremely successful in helping farmers maintain export markets for products such as these. Increased funding for these two programs would provide vital support to farmers, fishers, and others that want to reach new markets abroad.”
The Market Access Program (MAP) was established in 1985, and allows agricultural trade associations, farmer cooperatives, non-profit trade groups, and small businesses to apply for either generic or brand-specific promotion funds to support exporting efforts. Generic commodity funds are issues with a 10-percent minimum matching fund, while brand-specific funds require a funding match of at least 50%.
The Foreign Market Development Program (FMDP) was first developed in 1955 and is largely used for the promotion of bulk commodities, helping agricultural trade associations establish permanent presences in important markets. It also includes a matching fund requirement.
USDA export programs like MAP and FDMP have added an annual average of $8.15 billion to the value of American agricultural exports, and added up to 239,800 full and part-time jobs, including 90,000 farm sector jobs. Despite these successes, MAP and FMDP funding has not increased since the 2002 Farm Bill, even as competitors increase their efforts; for example, the European Union’s spending for the promotion of wine exceeded the total budget of MAP and FMDP in 2017.
Companion legislation was also introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Ernst (R-IA), Grassley (R-IA), Collins (R-ME), King (I-ME), and Smith (D-MN).
Last Congress, Rep. Newhouse introduced the Supporting Market Access to Reinvigorate Trade (SMART) Act of 2022 to increase the funds allocated of the MAP and FMDP programs. Companion legislation, the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act, was introduced by U.S. Senators Ernst (R-IA), Grassley (R-IA), Collins (R-ME), King (I-ME), and Smith (D-MN).Source : house.gov