The bipartisan CREAATE Act — a bill to increase investment in two federal programs with a proven track record of building global demand for U.S. agricultural products — was recently introduced by Senators Angus King (I-Maine), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), and Susan Collins (R-Maine). The passage of the bill would increase investment in the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development program (FMD). A companion bill was introduced in the House earlier this year.
MAP and FMD are public-private partnerships that promote U.S. agriculture. Together, they are responsible for 15% of U.S. agricultural export revenue-$309 billion since 1977.
“MAP and FMD are critical programs for building and expanding global markets for American agricultural exports. We must increase investment in these programs,” said Wesley Spurlock, a Texas farmer and president of the National Corn Growers Association. “These programs deliver a strong return on investment. Every $1 invested in MAP and FMD generates $28 in exports-that means more American jobs, and more money coming into our communities. Now more than ever, we need to invest in export and market development programs like these to build global demand and help farmers’ bottom lines.”
Funding for MAP and FMD has not kept pace with inflation, administrative costs, the growth of the global marketplace, or the investments other countries have made in their own export promotion. The FMD program is also under threat to lose its baseline funding when the farm bill expires in 2018.
The CREAATE Act would gradually increase MAP funding from $200 million to $400 million per year and FMD funding from $34.5 million to $69 million per year, over the next five years.
“Thank you to Senator King, Senator Ernst, Senator Donnelly, and Senator Collins for leading the effort to strengthen the MAP and FMD programs. These programs have already been successful, but with increased investment, they can help even more American farmers and ranchers compete around the world,” Spurlock said.