June 4, 2004
June 4, 2004 -- A coalition of more than 50 agricultural organizations is in the final stages of submitting a letter to the members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies urging their strong support for maintaining and strengthening funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's export programs. The alliance urges the subcommittee, as it considers the FY 05 agriculture appropriations bill, to fund the Market Access Program (MAP) at no less than $140 million and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program at its full level of $34.5 million as authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill.
Farm income and agriculture's economic well-being depend heavily on exports, which account for one-third or more of domestic production. During development of the 2002 Farm Bill, Congress recognized the importance of U.S. agricultural exports by approving an increase in funding for MAP and FMD.
MAP and FMD are among the few tools specifically allowed under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules to help American agriculture and American workers remain competitive in a global marketplace still characterized by subsidized foreign competition.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33