MAP, FMDP help American agricultural producers reach new markets around the world, add billions of dollars to U.S. economy
Independent study: Programs account for 15 percent of all U.S. agricultural export revenue
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Angus King (I-ME) today led a bipartisan group of 13 senators in calling on the Senate Agriculture Committee to increase funding in the Farm Bill for two programs that help thousands of family farms and small- to medium-sized agriculture enterprises throughout the United States export their products to international markets.
In a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee, the senators highlighted the importance of the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMDP) in helping American farmers gain access to markets around the world.
“As the Senate Farm Bill moves to the Senate floor for consideration, we urge the Committee’s strong support for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) export programs and ask that the Committee increase funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development Program (FMDP),” the senators wrote. “Thousands of family farms and small- to medium-sized agricultural enterprises throughout the country rely on these programs to gain access to international markets and as U.S. trade relations with critical partners continue to intensify, increased funding for MAP and FMDP is important now more than ever.”
The letter also emphasized the success of the programs in increasing agricultural exports and adding billions of dollars to the United States economy.
“They have a proven track record of helping American agricultural products reach foreign markets, opening up new opportunities and adding billions of dollars to our nation’s agricultural industry,” the senators continued. “An independent study commissioned by the USDA found that from 1977 to 2014, these programs produced an average return on investment of $28 for every dollar spent and accounted for 15 percent of all U.S. agricultural export revenue.”
The U.S. agricultural industry is a key economic driver throughout the country. In 2017, agricultural product exports totaled $138 billion in revenue and helped create over 1.1 million jobs. Despite the successes of these export assistance programs, funding has not increased for MAP since 2006 or for FMDP since 2002. As American agricultural products face increasing competition and barriers to entry in markets around the world, funding for effective agricultural export programs is an important tool for American agriculture to remain competitive and continue its role as a driver of the economy.
In addition to Cantwell and King, the letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Tom Udall (D-NM).
The full text of the letter is available HERE.
Source: United State Senate