The farm bill authorizes several USDA programs that create export opportunities and generate demand for U.S. agricultural products and commodities in foreign markets.
One of the primary trade programs includes the Market Access Program, which facilitates agricultural exports and uses Commodity Credit Corporation funds to help U.S. producers, exporters, private companies and other trade organizations finance promotional activities for U.S. agricultural products.
That promotion encourages the development, maintenance and expansion of commercial export markets for agricultural commodities through cost-share assistance to eligible trade organizations that implement a foreign market development program.
Questions to consider:
1. Is there a need for new trade programs to ensure that U.S. imports meet FSMA’s strict production criteria in order to guarantee that any imported agricultural commodities or products meet the same or comparable requirements that U.S. agricultural producers must meet?
2. Are current resources sufficient to ensure potential trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade, and Investment Partnership and future free trade agreements ensure sanitary and phytosanitary issues are adequately addressed for U.S. specialty crop producers?