The U.S. Grains Council applauded the administration for recognizing the value of expanded agricultural exports in its proposal for mandatory spending cuts. The administration recommended extensive cuts in USDA spending to the so-called Super Committee working on a government-wide deficit reduction plan, but specifically cited "increased funding for programs to expand U.S. agricultural exports" as one of the ways it supports U.S. agriculture.
"It is recognition for the benefits agricultural exports bring back to the U.S. economy," said Floyd Gaibler, USGC director of trade policy. "It is evidence that the work of joint government-industry groups like the Council is paying off for American farmers, for American business, and for our nation's economy."
The U.S. Grains Council leverages market development funds provided by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service through the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program and combines them with member dollars and non-cash contributions to expand its international reach to every corner of the globe, maintaining established markets and developing new ones for U.S. corn, barley grain sorghum and related products. These collaborative efforts to strengthen and support U.S. grain trade around the world produce a strong, quantifiable return on investment. The market development program generated through the combined efforts were valued at nearly $29 million for 2010. Other examples of programs it supports included the pursuit of trade agreements, agricultural research programs, and assistance for beginning and disadvantaged farmers.
In contrast, the White House recommended eliminating direct payments, reducing subsidies to crop insurance companies (including a change in subsidies for farmers' crop insurance premiums), and reducing conservation spending by targeting it to the most environmentally beneficial programs.
To view success stories from around the world that show how USGC has used program funding to increase export demand, click HERE.