June 7, 2013
Members of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports wrote to the leadership of the House Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies urging support to maintain vital funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) important export programs, including the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program, in the new Farm Bill.
The message advised funding MAP at no less than $200 million. MAP has been funded annually at this level since fiscal year (FY) 2006. In addition, FMD should be funded at no less than $34.5 million. FMD has been funded annually at this level since 2002.
Exports are a vital part of the U.S. economic engine, and agricultural exports continue to be its strongest component. The export forecast for FY 13 is estimated to be approximately $142 billion, which would surpass the all time record level of $137.4 billion achieved in FY 11 and would be $6.2 billion above the $135.8 billion in exports recorded in FY 12. According to USDA, every $1 billion in agricultural exports supports approximately 6,800 U.S. jobs. Thousands of small- to medium-size enterprises throughout the country, including family farms, depend on MAP and FMD for export markets.
The American Sheep Industry Association is a member of the coalition and utilizes MAP and FMD funding in its wool- and sheepskin-promotion programs. These programs provide international wool-buyer trade missions to the United States to learn about U.S. wool and reverse pelt and wool trade-missions, among other marketing programs such as, processing trials, trade-servicing, advertising and promotional activities.