As the Farm Bill process ramps up, efforts to increase resources for agriculture export promotion are in high gear. Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Senator Angus King (I-ME) have introduced bills in the House and Senate to provide additional funds to combat the actions of foreign governments in promoting their own agricultural exports.
The "Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports" (CREAATE) Act (H.R. 2321/S. 1839) would increase funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) to $400 million annually (phased in) and increase funding for the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program to $69 million annually (also phased in).
The Market Access Program (MAP) is heavily-utilized by the potato industry in promoting potato and potato product exports. This public-private partnership has proven to provide massive returns to the U.S. economy on the relatively small federal investment it requires. Due to inflation and sequestration-related reductions, MAP funding has been eroding since 2006 and global competitiveness demands it to be modernized consistent with the objectives of the programs.
Congressman Newhouse's bill now has fifteen cosponsors: Reps. Pingree (D-ME), Marshall (R-KS), Bustos (D-IL), Rooney (R-FL), Panetta (D-CA), Davis (R-IL), King (R-IA), Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Bost (R-IL), Garamendi (D-CA), Costa (D-CA), Loebsack (D-IA), Brownley (D-CA), Noem (R-SD), and Lujan (D-NM).
Senator King's bill has a total of five cosponsors: Senators Ernst (R-IA), Donnelly (D-IN), Collins (R-ME), Duckworth (D-IL), and Harris (D-CA).
In concert with the Coalition to Promote U.S. Ag Exports, NPC will be urging House and Senate members to join their colleagues in supporting these bills throughout the Fall. It would be extremely helpful if you could contact your House members and Senators that have not cosponsored the legislation and ask them to do so. Also, please remember to thank those that have cosponsored.