Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that his department awarded $200 million to 57 organizations through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program. The goal is to help U.S. farmers and ranchers find and get into new export markets around the globe. The promotion funds are part of the package that also included the Market Facilitation Program payments to farmers hurt be retaliatory tariffs, as well as a food distribution program to assist producers of targeted commodities.
In making the announcement, Perdue made a thinly-veiled reference to China by saying, “This infusion will help us develop other markets and move us away from being dependent on one large customer for our agricultural products. This is seed money, leveraged by hundreds of millions of dollars from the private sector that will help to increase our agricultural exports.”
Every sector of U.S. agriculture could apply for cost-share assistance under the program. The Foreign Agricultural Service looked at all the applications in terms of the potential for export growth in the target market, direct injury from the imposed retaliatory tariffs, and the likelihood that the proposed project will have a direct impact on agricultural exports.
The Trade Promotion Program aids eligible groups for things like consumer advertising, public relations, point-of-sale demonstrations, trade fair participation, and market research.