As a wheat grower in your state, I am asking for support of the Expanding Agricultural Exports Act (S. 176) and Agriculture Export Promotion Act (H.R. 648), which would strengthen the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) programs authorized in the Farm Bill. Because half of the wheat grown in the United States is exported, wheat growers deeply understand the importance of trade and market development. However, programmatic funding has been stagnant since the mid-2000s. Now is the time to reinvest in these programs to keep up with inflation, overcome sequestration, and ensure the United States maintains a competitive edge over our competitors.
MAP and FMD are incredibly effective and have a significant return on investment. According to an IHS Markit and Texas A&M University econometric study, each dollar invested in these programs saw an average $24.5 ROI since 1977. The study also notes that if these program funds were doubled – as S. 176 and H.R. 648 propose – the U.S. would generate an additional $44.4 billion in agricultural exports between 2024 and 2029. If this legislation were to be enacted, the study also found that the farm economy would see net farm cash income increase by $630 million annually, and the overall economy would increase by $6.27 billion annually, which would support over 64,000 jobs.
As Congress works to reauthorize the Farm Bill in 2023, additional resources must be made available to leverage this public-private partnership to bolster international cooperation, increase U.S. agricultural exports, and support further job growth throughout the U.S. economy. Therefore, I urge you to cosponsor and support this legislation, so the MAP and FMD programs have the resources they need to help farmers stay competitive globally.