Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation Would Boost Funding For Ag Export Programs

Legislation introduced Wednesday in both the House and Senate would boost marketing efforts and overseas sales for US agricultural products.

The Expanding Agricultural Exports Act would double authorized funding levels for the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) to $400 million and $69 million, respectively.

The funds are used to reimburse agricultural organizations for a portion of the cost of carrying out overseas marketing and promotional activities, such as consumer promotions. MAP participants include nonprofit agricultural trade organizations, state-regional trade groups, cooperatives, and private companies that qualify as small businesses.

When MAP funds are used for generic marketing and promotion, the private sector must contribute a minimum 10-percent match. For the promotion of branded products, a dollar-for-dollar match is required.

The legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Angus King (I-ME), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Tina Smith (D-MN), and in the House by US Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) along with 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).

“These programs have a significant impact on small- and medium-sized businesses in our food, farm, and fishing industries. They represent strong and sustainable investments for the US taxpayer,” said Brendan Wilson, Executive Director/CEO of Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast, two not-for-profits that promote the exports of Midwest and Northeast US food and agricultural products.

“An expansion of MAP and FMD resources will ensure these programs continue to meet the evolving needs of and provide a more competitive advantage for US producers in a dynamic global marketplace,” Wilson added.

The Coalition to Promote US Agricultural Exports, a
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