Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Increase Trade Programs
On Thursday, a host of lawmakers, including Washington’s Dan Newhouse and Kim Schrier introduced legislation that looks to boost trade and support American farmers. The Supporting Market Access to Reinvigorate Trade (SMART) Act of 2022, would increase funding to several trade focused programs at USDA, including the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMDP).
Other supporters of this legislation, which include California's Jim Costa and Jimmy Panetta, Tracey Mann from Kansas, as well as Iowa's Ashley Hinson and Cindy Axne, say it would help American farmers maintain an edge in the increasingly competitive global marketplace.
“The Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program have proven to help local farmers and growers in my district bring their top quality products, including apples, cherries, and wheat to customers around the world, unlocking economic opportunity on a global scale for local businesses of the 8th District,” Schrier said. “I'm proud to be an original cosponsor of this legislation that increases funding for these programs to help the agriculture community facing the challenges of rising costs, supply chain issues, and low crop yields.”
“Farmers and ranchers in Central Washington and across the country rely on programs like the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program to help expand their customer base and market their products abroad,” said Newhouse. “By investing further in these programs, we can help strengthen our nation’s agriculture industry and create more good-paying jobs at home while enabling customers around the globe to enjoy Washington’s high-quality, nutritious products.”
“Opening and growing new markets for American-made products is critical to building our agricultural economy,” Costa said. “Food is a global security issue, and we must do all we can to reverse disruptions in trade and grow new partnerships that help deliver American products around the world.”
“Trade promotion is an essential function of a strong Farm Bill,” Mann added. “The return on investment from private sector contributions, which accounted for roughly 75% of export promotion between 2013 and 2019, is unparalleled. The SMART Act will help agricultural trade associations as they work tirelessly to ensure that American producers remain competitive in the international marketplace.”
“Many people involved in our country’s agriculture depend on programs like the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program to reach new markets abroad and grow their businesses at home,” Panetta said. “The bipartisan SMART Act would make significant investments in those programs to ensure that our nation’s farmers and ranchers have access to the tools and resources that they need to compete in the global marketplace. Such federal support to secure the appropriate market access abroad would help create good-paying jobs, support local economies, and fortify our agriculture at home.”
"Iowa farmers feed and fuel the world, and the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program continue to be a valuable tool to expand their access to new export markets,” said Hinson. “Throughout their history, these programs have offered a phenomenal return on investment for American taxpayers, and continued support for these programs will be critical for American agriculture to continue its global leadership as foreign competitors ramp up investment in export market development. Increasing investment in these programs will enhance the competitiveness of Iowa agriculture in the global marketplace, improve our food security, and support our rural economy.”
“Iowa farmers produce some of the highest quality products that feed and fuel the world,” Axne said. “Through further investment in the successful Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program, producers will have access to new markets that will enable them to continue to compete globally against foreign competitors. Iowa is the second largest exporter of agricultural goods and these programs directly benefit farmers and support rural communities across the state.”
Click Here to read the compete SMAR Act.
Companion legislation, the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act, was introduced by Senators King, Ernst, Donnelly and Collins on September 22nd.
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