Seed World

Ag Organizations Support CREAATE Act in the U.S. Senate


Members of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports and the Agribusiness Coalition for Foreign Market Development welcome and strongly support passage of S. 1839, the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act. Sen. Angus King (I-ME), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the act yesterday (Sept. 19).

The introduction of the CREAATE Act in the Senate follows the House version, H.R. 2321, introduced May 3 by Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME).

CREAATE seeks to expand the successful Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program to boost trade’s impact on U.S. farmer profitability and the U.S. economy.

The National Corn Growers Association also praised the introduction of the act. “MAP and FMD are critical programs for building and expanding global markets for American agricultural exports,” says Wesley Spurlock, a Texas farmer and president of NCGA. “We must increase investment in these programs.”

The bill would increase statutory funding for the programs, which are now authorized at $200 million per year for MAP and $34.5 million per year for FMD. Both have faced stagnant funding and eroding real dollar impact due to inflation, sequestration, administrative costs and increased global competition. CREAATE calls for phasing in additional annual funding for MAP to $400 million in FY 2023 and additional annual funding for FMD to $69 million in FY 2023.

There is convincing evidence that such increases would generate very positive, incremental returns. A November 2016 econometric study by Informa Economics, IEG, found that increased public funding for MAP and FMD, coupled with increasing private contributions from farmers and others, would:

  • Increase average annual agricultural export value by $3.4 to $4.5 billion.
  • Increase farm cash income by $500 million to $700 million.
  • Increase U.S. gross domestic product by $4.5 to $6.0 billion.
  • Create up to 85,000 new and part-time jobs.

For decades, U.S. Department of Agriculture export promotion programs have helped American farmers create, expand and maintain access to foreign markets, cultivating hundreds of billions of dollars in exports and creating millions of American jobs in the agriculture sector and support industries. Several independent evaluations have shown that the activities funded by MAP and FMD are consistently effective at increasing demand overseas and raising farm income at home.

Spurlock says that for every $1 invested in MAP and FMD, $28 are generated in exports. “That means more American jobs, and more money coming into our communities,” he says.