The US Grains Council, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Sorghum Producers, the National Barley Growers Association, and other allied organizations have successfully lobbied to defeat a proposed budget cut of 20% of the Market Access Program (MAP) during the US Senate debate on the pending Farm Bill.
The 2012 Farm Bill (S. 3240) is currently under consideration in the Senate and is drawing heated debate.
Among the many amendments was one that called for slashing MAP funding by 20% (about $40 million annually).
This amendment would also have imposed arbitrary limitations on which international marketing activities could utilize the remaining funds.
Thanks to effective advocacy by a wide range of groups supportive of US export promotion efforts, the amendment was defeated by a vote of 30 ayes to 69 nays.
“MAP funding in conjunction with other smaller funding programs has been an important contributor to the success of US coarse grain and DDGS exports worldwide. US agriculture trade is one of the few trade areas that maintains a surplus. Without MAP funding, US grains exports will face a much tougher uphill battle,” said Dr. Wendell Shauman, USGC chairman.
MAP is a longstanding program through which the Foreign Agricultural Service has collaborated with “co-operator” organizations to work jointly on projects of mutual interest.
USGC uses funding also to work aggressively on trade policy questions including international acceptance of new production technologies, implementation of trade agreements to reduce tariff and other barriers to US exports, and fair enforcement of existing trade agreements to discourage unfair foreign subsidies and create a more level playing field.
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