July 15, 2004
July 15, 2004 -- A coalition of more than 50 agricultural organizations, including the American Sheep Industry Association, is in the final stages of submitting a letter to House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies members, regarding funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture export programs.
The coalition is urging subcommittee members 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 it considers the FY 05 agriculture appropriations bill.
"Farm income and agriculture's economic well-being depend heavily on exports, which account for one-third or more of domestic production," says ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick. "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 rules to help American agriculture and American workers remain competitive in a global marketplace still characterized by subsidized foreign competition.