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In This Issue
It Was A Year Unlike Any Other
Despite Volatile Season, Outlook Is Optimistic
After Record Drought, Texas Hopeful About 2012
Can We Do Anything About The Weather?
South Georgia Crop – Rough Start, Great Finish
Research Priorities Are Changing
Labor Issues Remain Crucial For Industry
Residual Herbicides Effective On N.C. Pigweed
Another Option For Producers – Conventional Cotton
Commodity Groups Want Fairness In Bill
Farm Bureau Unhappy With EPA
Asia Pacific Region – Key Market For U.S. Ag
BWCC Ginning Conference Features High-Tech Applications
California Producers Hurry To Finish Harvest
USDA Seeks Help For Arizona Rural Areas
FSA Begins Task Of County Committee Elections
California County Farm Bureaus Honored
CFBF Adds Field Rep To Staff
Web Poll: Conventional Back In The Mix
Cotton's Agenda
What Customers Want
Editor's Note
Industry Comments
Specialists Speaking
Industry News
Cotton Ginners Marketplace
My Turn: The Changing Landscape
ARCHIVES

Asia Pacific Region – Key Market For U.S. Ag

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that the U.S. Department of Agri-culture (USDA) is investing in approximately 70 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand commercial export markets for their goods. Vilsack made the announcement during a conference call with reporters from Vietnam, where he met with officials to help strengthen trade relations in the Asia Pacific region.

“Under the Obama Administration, USDA has continued to expand markets for American goods abroad, worked aggressively to break down barriers to trade and assisted U.S. businesses with the resources needed to reach consumers around the world,” says Vilsack.

“The funding announced today will ensure that U.S. agriculture remains a bright spot in America’s economy and a driving force behind export expansion, job creation and our country’s overall competitiveness.”

Export Promotion Pays Off

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) allocated $213 million for export promotion activities through two USDA international market development programs: the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) and the Market Access Program (MAP).

USDA’s international market development programs have had a significant and positive impact on U.S. agricultural exports. An independent study released in 2010 found that for every dollar expended by government and industry on market development, U.S. food and agricultural exports increase by $35.

Currently, the American brand of agriculture is surging in popularity worldwide. Farm exports in fiscal year 2011 reached a record high of $137.4 billion – exceeding past highs by $22.5 billion – and supported 1.15 million jobs here at home. The agricultural trade surplus stands at a record $42.9 billion. USDA also forecasts that new trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will add an additional $2.3 billion to the farm economy and support about 20,000 American jobs.

Under FMD, FAS will allocate a total of $29.7 million to 24 trade organizations that represent U.S. agricultural producers. The organizations, which must contribute a minimum 50 percent cost share toward the program, will conduct activities that help maintain or increase demand for U.S. agricultural commodities overseas.

Under MAP, FAS will provide $183 million to 67 nonprofit organizations and cooperatives. MAP participants must contribute a minimum 10 percent match for generic marketing and promotional activities and a dollar-for-dollar match for promotion of branded products by small businesses and cooperatives.

Vilsack Meets With Ag Reps

In Vietnam, Vilsack met with representatives from some of the U.S. agricultural organizations benefitting from these programs. He also spoke with Vietnamese officials and talked with students at the Hanoi University of Agriculture.

Next he will travel to China as part of the Obama Administration’s delegation for the 22nd Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), where he also plans to meet with additional U.S. agricultural organizations benefitting from USDA’s international market development efforts.

To learn more about how USDA’s international market development programs benefit U.S. agriculture, go to the USDA Blog at www.usda.gov or contact the USDA Office of Communications for more updates on export program activities.

USDA contributed information for this article.

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