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MAP Funding Survives Challenge

22 June 2012
U.S. Grains Council

US - The US Grains Council has applauded the National Corn Growers Association, the National Sorghum Producers, the National Barley Growers Association, and other allied organisations for their successful support of the Market Access programme (MAP) during Senate debate on the pending Farm Bill.

The 2012 Farm Bill (S. 3240) is currently under consideration in the Senate and is drawing heated debate.

Among the many amendments was one that called for slashing MAP funding by 20 per cent ($40 million annually).

The amendment would also have imposed arbitrary limitations on which international marketing activities could use the remaining funds. Thanks to effective advocacy by a wide range of groups supportive of US export promotion efforts, the amendment was defeated today by a vote of 30 ayes to 69 nays.

"MAP funding in conjunction with other smaller funding programmes has been an important contributor to the success of US coarse grain and DDGS exports worldwide. US agriculture trade is one of the few US trade areas that maintains a surplus. Without MAP funding, US grains exports will face a much tougher uphill battle," said Dr. Wendell Shauman, USGC chairman.

Trade enhances global prosperity, expands US exports, and promotes jobs and economic growth at home.

Many US companies, trade associations, and federal, state, and local governments work to increase opportunities for US exporters. Some of these efforts promote the sale of particular products or brands. Others are broader in scope and promote entire industry sectors or a "made in the USA" brand.

MAP is a longstanding programme through which the Foreign Agricultural Service has partnered with "co-operator" organisations to work jointly on projects of mutual interest.

The US Grains Council has used MAP funding for a variety of programmes that expand and defend export markets for US corn, sorghum, barley, distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), and other value added products. The Council's current programmes encompass more than 50 countries.

  • Capacity building programmes assist foreign dairy, cattle, swine, and poultry producers in modernising their operations, expanding local demand for their products, and thus increasing demand for US sourced feed grains and DDGS.
  • Trade servicing programmes assist foreign importers in navigating the complexities of international financial, regulatory, and trading systems.
  • The Council also works aggressively on trade policy questions including international acceptance of new production technologies, implementation of trade agreements to reduce tariff and other barriers to US exports, and fair enforcement of existing trade agreements to discourage unfair foreign subsidies and create a more level playing field.

Global corn production continues to rise as technology drives yield increases and new competitors such as Brazil, Argentina, and the Ukraine ramp up production for export. Global grains markets are intensely competitive. MAP is an important tool in assisting US producers and agribusinesses in developing and defending export markets.

Agriculture is an often-underappreciated hero of the U.S international trade balance, one of the few sectors in which the U.S. consistently earns a major trade surplus.

As the global middle class continues to grow, as world food demand increases rapidly, and as international export competition intensifies, the importance of agricultural export promotion will continue to grow.

The US Grains Council is committed to defending and increasing US market share, and the Council is appreciative of the help of allied organisations in preserving essential market development tools like MAP.

TheCropSite News Desk

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