California Democratic Rep. Jim Costa, a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee and chairman of the Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee, recently presented HR 9244 – Supporting Market Access to Reinvigorate the Commerce Act of 2022 – dubbed The SMART Act. This bipartisan legislation aims to expand programs to develop new business opportunities for U.S. agricultural products.
“Opening and growing new markets for American-made products is critical to building our agricultural economy,” Costa said in a press release. “Food is a global security issue, and we must do everything we can to reverse trade disruptions and develop new partnerships that help deliver American products around the world.”
The SMART Act would double the amount of funding to at least $400 million per fiscal year for the Market Access Program (MAP) and at least $69 million per fiscal year for the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program. The increase in funding is intended to promote U.S. products in primary and secondary markets, providing access to new markets for farmers looking to export products.
In addition to Cost, this bill has six co-sponsors: three Democrats and three Republicans.
“Many people involved in agriculture in our country depend on programs such as the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program to reach new markets abroad and grow their businesses at home,” he said. said Jimmy Panetta, representing California, one of the co-sponsors. “The bipartisan SMART Act would make significant investments in these programs to ensure our nation’s farmers and ranchers have access to the tools and resources they need to compete in the global marketplace. Such federal support to ensure appropriate market access abroad would help create well-paying jobs, support local economies and strengthen our agriculture at home.
“Iowa farmers produce some of the highest quality produce that feeds and feeds the world,” said Rep. Cindy Axne, one of two co-sponsors from Iowa. “Through additional investments in the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program, producers will have access to new markets that will allow them to continue to compete with foreign competitors on a global scale. Iowa is the second largest exporter of agricultural products and these programs directly benefit farmers and support rural communities across the state. »
According to the bill, academic analysis found that doubling public funding for the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program, coupled with an increase in private contributions of 10-20%, would lead to annual gains. averages about $7.4 billion in agricultural exports.