The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative’s office announced $100 million in federal funding that will be used to promote U.S. agricultural products overseas.

Ann Veneman, secretary of agriculture, was part of a group that met with ag groups to discuss the plans for boosting agricultural exports. Efforts will include:

  • The use of trade promotion programs to increase the use of U.S. ag products overseas.
  • The use of world trade negotiations and the development of free trade agreements that are equitable to U.S. producers.
  • Attacks on trade barriers and subsides that hurt U.S. producers.
  • Efforts will be made to increase world demand through economic growth and development.

“Access to overseas markets is critical to American agriculture,” Veneman told United Press International. “The new trade talks launched in Doha last year offer tremendous potential to America's producers by expanding access to growing foreign markets.”

Under the 2002 Farm Bill Market Access Program, 67 U.S. trade groups will receive $90 million to help promote their products to overseas markets. The Farm Bill also included an extra $10 million in funding for use in this fiscal year.

In addition, the Quality Samples Program will provide 17 groups with $1.34 million in funds to use to help create export sales with new overseas buyers. The program gives foreign importers samples of U.S. agricultural products in order to develop new partnerships.

United Press International