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WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.– The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) supported the introduction of the CREAATE Act, a bill to increase investment in two federal programs with a proven track record of building global demand for U.S. agricultural products.

The bipartisan bill, “Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act,” introduced by U.S. Senators Angus King, Joni Ernst, Joe Donnelly and Susan Collins, would increase investment in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development program (FMD). A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year.

MAP and FMD are public-private partnerships that promote U.S. agriculture. Together, they are responsible for 15% of U.S. agricultural export revenue—$309 billion since 1977.

Wesley Spurlock
Wesley Spurlock, a president of the NCGA. 
“MAP and FMD are critical programs for building and expanding global markets for American agricultural exports,” said Wesley Spurlock, a president of the NCGA. “We must increase investment in these programs. These programs deliver a strong return on investment. Every $1 invested in MAP and FMD generates $28 in exports—that means more American jobs, and more money coming into our communities. Now more than ever, we need to invest in export and market development programs like these to build global demand and help farmers’ bottom lines.”

According to the NCGA, funding for MAP and FMD has not kept pace with inflation, administrative costs, the growth of the global marketplace, or the investments other countries have made in their own export promotion. The FMD program is also under threat to lose its baseline funding when the farm bill expires in 2018.

The CREAATE Act would gradually increase MAP funding from $200 million to $400 million per year and FMD funding from $34.5 million to $69 million per year, over the next five years.

“With the United States exporting 50% of its wheat, a strong trade agenda is essential for growing and opening new markets for wheat growers abroad," said Chandler Goule, chief executive officer of the National Association of Wheat Growers. “The Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program have proven to have excellent return on investment and increase the global demand for wheat while raising farm income here at home. These programs provide the U.S. agricultural community with the tools needed to retain its edge in an increasingly competitive global economy."  

The American Soybean Association showed support for the funding of the trade programs. 

“MAP and FMD are two of the real success stories when it comes to partnerships between American farmers and the federal government," said John Heisdorffer, vice-president of ASA. "We work together with the U.S. Soybean Export Council to leverage MAP and FMD funds to establish and expand markets for American soy in all corners of the globe, and the CREAATE Act will go a long way to ensuring that good work can and will continue."