Cutting program will undermine US agriculture's ability to compete in international marketplace
Eighty members of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports have opposed an amendment by Senator Tom Coburn to S. 3240 (Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012) to reduce annual funding for the Market Access Program by $40 million and prohibit the use of program funds for certain activities.
“Reducing funding for MAP would seriously undermine U.S. agriculture’s ability to compete in this highly competitive international marketplace,” said the organizations. “It is a very efficient, cost-effective program.” They also said that under the program, participants must carefully evaluate and adjust all export market development activities every year. The participants submit plans to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, which reviews every promotional activity to determine their eligibility and ability to help increase demand for U.S. agricultural exports. This analysis, in conjunction with feedback from Foreign Agricultural Service overseas officers, determines whether activities merit funding.
The program “has been tremendously successful and extremely cost-effective in helping maintain and expand U.S. agricultural exports, protect and create American jobs, strengthen farm income and help to offset the government-supported advantages afforded foreign competitors,” said the organizations. “We strongly urge that MAP continue to be funded in S. 3240 at no less than $200 million annually, which is the same level as in the current Farm Bill.”