Agricultural groups have issued support for the CREAATE Act and its purpose to support further development of export markets. The Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports Act (CREAATE) seeks to double the funding for two agricultural export programs. Introduced by Senators Tina Smith, Angus King, Joni Ernst, and Chuck Grassley, the legislation would enhance investment in both the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program.
Proponents of the bill note that improving market access through increased investment in trade programs is vital for the agricultural industry. “This is especially vital as foreign competitors continue to spend substantially more on market development and promotion of their food and ag exports than the U.S. does,” said Chuck Conner, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives President.
Funding support for trade market expansion programs has remained largely stagnated for 15 years, despite the value those programs provide. Over the past decade, between $20 and $24 in export gains have come from every $1 spent on market development. The CREAATE Act would increase mandatory MAP funding to $400 million and mandatory funding for FMD to $69 million.
“MAP funding has not been increased from $200 million since 2006 and FMD funding has not changed from $34.5 million since 2002, but our foreign competition in most global markets including wheat has grown,” U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Chairperson Rhonda K. Larson said in a press release. “To manage that challenge over the years, USW has closed offices and reduced staff to protect wheat export demand in our top markets. With additional MAP and FMD funds, we could expand our promotion effort to more commercial markets.”
The CREAATE Act must now be considered by the Senate Agriculture Committee. Many agricultural organizations, including the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports, are calling for swift passage of the bill.