Foreign Market Development Focus of Hearing

Foreign Market Development Focus of Hearing

ASA testifies on the importance of USDA FAS programs.

The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture is reviewing export promotion programs and their effectiveness in expanding exports of U.S. agricultural products. During a hearing, American Soybean Association Chief Executive Officer Stephen Censky said these programs have been tremendously successful and extremely cost-effective in helping expand U.S. exports of soybeans and other agricultural commodities, including corn, wheat, rice, cotton, livestock and meat products, dairy, forest products, peanuts, seafood, and a host of horticultural products.

According to ASA, last year the United States exported a record $23 billion in soybeans, soybean oil and soybean meal. This export growth could not have been achieved without the unique government-industry partnership that characterizes the Foreign Market Development "Cooperator" Program and the Market Access Program administered by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.

ASA became a Cooperator under the FMD program in 1956, when it opened a foreign market development program in Tokyo, Japan. Today, Japan is a top market for U.S. soybean products. According to a recent comprehensive study conducted by Global Insight for FAS, MAP and FMD have boosted ag exports by $6.1 billion and provided a 35 to 1 return on investment. In addition the report shows that from 2002 to 2009 the export gains associated with the two programs increased U.S. farm cash receipts by $4.4 billion and net farm income by $1.5 billion. Furthermore, farm support payments were reduced by about $54 million dollars annually due to higher prices resulting from increased demand.

TAGS: USDA
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