Competition For Ag Export Markets Is Aggressive

Serious cuts to funding place U.S. agriculture at a disadvantage.

The result is reduced spending power over time for market development programs, even while demand for the benefits these programs provide increases.

The Need For MAP And FMD Is Greater Than Ever

Less Equipped to Reach a Growing Market

With growing global food demand, MAP and FMD participants have the opportunity to service more customers who seek to buy an increasing volume and variety of U.S. products. In fact, since the 2002 Farm Bill, overall agricultural imports to the overseas markets in which U.S. exports are competing rose by more than 330 percent, from $247 billion in 2002 to $834 billion currently. This significant increase in market size, combined with the diminished purchasing power of MAP and FMD funding since 2002, means that U.S. producers are not well equipped to take on more aggressive foreign competition.

Increased Global Competition

Competitors in foreign countries receive substantially more public support than U.S. farmers and agricultural exporters. A 2013 study showed that in 2011, competing government support for agricultural exports from just 12 countries and the European Union central government (not including individual member states) was $700 million per year. For comparison, the U.S. budgets approximately $235 million annually in public funds through MAP and FMD for agricultural export promotion and market development. A 2016 study of competitive agricultural export market development investments showed that the EU allocates $255 million annually just to promote wine.

Regulatory Strains on Funding

New demands on MAP and FMD funding to prevent and combat non-tariff trade barriers put greater strain on funding that, in the past, went exclusively to market development and promotion activities. While this work reflects the collaborative work by cooperators to supplement efforts of FAS and other regulatory agencies, it is often defensive, not offensive.

Increased Demand for Funding

A 2015 survey of the current organizations using MAP and FMD showed they could readily make effective use of a considerable increase in program funding. In addition, more producer groups are establishing organizations to support market development work and are anxious to apply for program funding. Greater demand will be placed on the fixed program funds as more organizations become eligible to apply for MAP and FMD.

These programs have lost more than 40% of their value over the last 15 years:

Sequestration has cost MAP $13.6 million and FMD $2.4 million annually.
USDA administrative costs reduced available dollars by $6.6 million in FY2016.
Inflation since 2002 has cost the programs approximately 30% of their value, or $70.4 million.
Additional funding from the MAP budget is set aside for shared project and research costs.