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Newhouse Leads 43 Members on Reauthorization Request for Trade and Export Programs in Farm Bill

April 10, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) led 43 members in a bipartisan request to House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) expressing strong support for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) trade and export market development programs at the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). The Members requested in a letter that House Agriculture Committee leaders reauthorize the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) and include provisions of Rep. Newhouse’s legislation, H.R. 2321, the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agriculture Trade and Exports Act (CREAATE Act), which was introduced last year both in the House and Senate with bipartisan support, in the farm bill.

The Members wrote: “American agriculture and American workers continue to face increasingly strong international competition supported by government-sponsored activities. A major study completed in November 2017 on behalf of several U.S. agricultural export market development organizations found that twelve countries and the European Union (EU) central government alone spent an estimated $943 million on agricultural export promotion for agrifood products in 2016. In comparison, the U.S. spent an estimated $239 million in total for export promotion through MAP, FMD, and other programs in 2016, which was nearly 12 percent lower than 2011 levels. The U.S. is being outspent nearly 4 to 1 by these twelve countries and the EU central government—an increase of 70 percent in real competitive public spending since 2011. While other governments are investing more in global food and agricultural markets, inflation, sequestration, and administrative costs are chipping away at U.S. funding.”

The Members continued in the letter: “We again ask as your Committee begins consideration of the 2018 Farm Bill that we can continue to work with you to reauthorize and expand these crucial agricultural market development programs to reassert the importance of America’s agricultural producers and retain its edge in an increasingly competitive global economy.”

Background:

Rep. Newhouse and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) previously introduced H.R. 2321, the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act. The CREAATE Act would reassert the importance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMDP) to America’s agricultural producers and economy as a whole, and provide the U.S. agricultural community with the tools needed to retain its edge in an increasingly competitive global economy by doubling funding for MAP and FMDP.

You can read the text of the letter to Chairman Conaway and Ranking Member Peterson here or below:

April 10, 2018

Dear Chairman Conaway and Ranking Member Peterson,

As the House Committee on Agriculture takes up consideration of the 2018 Farm Bill soon, we write with our strong support for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) trade and export market development programs at the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). Specifically, we ask that you consider the importance of the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) and ask that you reauthorize these vital trade promotion programs and include provisions of H.R. 2321, the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agriculture Trade and Exports Act (CREAATE Act) in the farm bill.

For decades, USDA export development programs like MAP and FMD have helped American farmers create, expand, and maintain access to foreign markets. Throughout their history, this successful public-private partnership has cultivated hundreds of billions of dollars in exports, and created millions of American jobs, both in the agriculture sector and in support industries. However, statutory funding for MAP and FMD has been static since the 2002 Farm Bill. In addition, those funds have been eroded due to inflation and administrative costs. The support from private sector partners, which have grown to 70 percent of available funds in 2014, have sustained these programs at a level far exceeding program requirements. Without these private contributions and the private sector’s resolve to support our export programs, it is very likely that the United States would not be the net agricultural exporter that we are today.

American agriculture and American workers continue to face increasingly strong international competition supported by government-sponsored activities. A major study completed in November 2017 on behalf of several U.S. agricultural export market development organizations found that twelve countries and the European Union (EU) central government alone spent an estimated $943 million on agricultural export promotion for agrifood products in 20161. In comparison, the U.S. spent an estimated $239 million in total for export promotion through MAP, FMD, and other programs in 2016, which was nearly 12 percent lower than 2011 levels. The U.S. is being outspent nearly 4 to 1 by these twelve countries and the EU central government—an increase of 70 percent in real competitive public spending since 2011. While other governments are investing more in global food and agricultural markets, inflation, sequestration, and administrative costs are chipping away at U.S. funding.

We again ask as your Committee begins consideration of the 2018 Farm Bill that we can continue to work with you to reauthorize and expand these crucial agricultural market development programs to reassert the importance of America’s agricultural producers and retain its edge in an increasingly competitive global economy.

Sincerely,

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