In a letter sent to the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, the American Soybean Association (ASA) joined farm groups in urging strong support for maintaining funding for the USDA’s export programs, including the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program. The Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee marked up and approved the FY13 Agriculture Appropriations bill on June 6. As approved, the legislation includes full funding of $200 million for MAP and $34.5 million for FMD.

In the letter, the groups reminded the subcommittee that the increase in market development spending through MAP and FMD since 2002 corresponds to an increase of $6.1 billion in the annual value of U.S. agricultural exports, an increase of U.S. farm cash receipts by $4.4 billion, and an increase in net cash farm income by $1.5 billion.

“For every additional $1 expended by government and industry on market development during this period, U.S. food and agricultural exports increased by $35, a 35 to 1 return on investment. At the same time, the study also found that U.S. domestic farm support payments were reduced by roughly $54 million annually due to higher prices from increased demand abroad, thus reducing the net cost of farm programs,” stated the groups in the letter.

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the FY13 Agriculture bill the week of June 18. MAP and FMD were also approved at $200 million and $34.5 million respectively in the version of the legislation approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee in late April.