Study Shows U.S. Lags Behind in Developing Ag Exports

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The latest analysis of foreign export promotion program investment shows that several competing countries and the European Union outspent the United States in publicly-funded agricultural export promotion by a margin of four to one in 2016, according to a release from the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports and the Agribusiness Coalition for Foreign Market Development.

The other countries spent close to $1 billion, an increase of 70 percent in real competitive public spending since 2011, while U.S. public funding for the two largest agricultural export promotion programs is about $235 million per year and its real value has declined by 12 percent since 20111.

An Analysis of EU and Other Selected Foreign Export Promotion Programs,” was commissioned by Wine Institute and other agricultural associations and conducted by Informa Economics, IEG, with Market Access Program funding. With a focus on EU export development investment, Informa Economics also reviewed agricultural export promotion investment by major competitors from Australia, Chile, China, New Zealand and others.

“The total public investment alone from just the EU and four European countries are expected to exceed $550 million in 2019, which is more than twice what the U.S. government authorizes for agricultural export development under the farm bill,” said Mark Powers, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council and chairman of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports.

The study showed the EU is investing about $300 million per year on wine export promotion alone. Canada and Italy doubled their total annual spending, and Brazil and China tripled their total annual export promotion budgets according to the study.

“Other governments are investing more in global food and agricultural markets while inflation, sequestration and administrative costs are chipping away at U.S. funding,” said Tom Sleight, CEO of U.S. Grains Council, which is a member of the Agribusiness Coalition for Foreign Market Development. “That also cuts into the ability of American family farmers, livestock and dairy producers, fishermen and small agri-food businesses to compete in growing export markets.”

The executive summary of the Informa Economics competitive study, and more in-depth information about MAP and FMD programs and their outcomes, are posted online at www.AgExportsCount.org.

Ag Group, Exports, Trade

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