WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Tina Smith, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have introduced a bill to double USDA's Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program funding.
The Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act of 2022 would increase MAP mandatory funding from $200 million annually to $400 million and would increase FMD mandatory funding from $34.5 million annually to $69 million, the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports said in a news release.
The text of the bill has not been posted. The bill is likely a marker for the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to consider as they start preparing to write the next farm bill.
"A recent econometric study conducted by agricultural economists at IHS Market and Texas A&M University predicted that doubling funding for these programs would generate an additional $44.4 billion in U.S. agricultural exports over the 2024-2029 time period," the coalition said.
"Global competitors keep spending more to promote their exports, but MAP funding hasn't been increased since 2006 and FMD funding hasn't changed for two decades," said Robbie Minnich, senior government relations representative with the National Cotton Council, and chair of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports.
"If the programs did not work to open and expand markets for American agricultural products, the private sector would not continue to invest more than 70 percent of the total funding each year. We greatly appreciate Sens. King, Ernst, Smith, and Grassley's recognition and commitment to doubling funding for MAP and FMD."
Chuck Conner, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, said in a news release, "The bill would institute a long-needed increase in funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program, which help America's farmers, ranchers, growers expand markets overseas for this country's agricultural bounty."
"This is especially vital as foreign competitors continue to spend substantially more on market development and promotion of their food and ag exports than the U.S. does."
U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers endorsed the bill.
"MAP funding has not been increased from $200 million since 2006 and FMD funding has not changed from $34.5 million since 2002, but our foreign competition in most global markets including wheat has grown," said USW Chairperson Rhonda Larson, a wheat grower from East Grand Forks, N.D.
"To manage that challenge over the years, USW has closed offices and reduced staff to protect wheat export demand in our top markets. With additional MAP and FMD funds, we could expand our promotion effort to more commercial markets."
Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at email@example.com
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