Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Senators Propose Funding Increase for USDA International Marketing Programs

Senators Angus King (I-Maine), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) recently introduced legislation to increase annual funding for the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) Program – key programs that bolster global demand for U.S. agricultural products.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom says that while MAP and FMD have received steady funding from Congress and the programs have strong, bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, MAP funding has remained static since 2006 and FMD funding has not been increased since 2002. As detailed in this bill summary and press release from the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports, the proposed bill would double mandatory funding for MAP from $200 million to $400 million annually and would double mandatory FMD funding from $34.5 million annually to $69 million annually.

Halstrom explains that the funding USMEF receives from these programs is an important investment that has a proven track record of delivering strong returns for U.S. agriculture. He adds that support from USDA complements the producer dollars invested in international marketing of U.S. pork, beef and lamb, which will help drive U.S. red meat exports to nearly $20 billion in value in 2022.