On Tuesday, the USDA announced it will make funds available through the Commodity Credit Corporation for a Regional Agricultural Promotion Program aimed at expanding opportunities for U.S. agricultural products in international markets. U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom said the investment is very timely, as the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) is reaching its end.
“USMEF would definitely like to thank Secretary Vilsack, the staff at USDA, and congressional leaders that support this program through the CCC for prioritizing international market development,” Halstrom said. “We’re excited about the opportunity. The ATP or the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program that was put out four years ago, that finishes up next year, USMEF’s actually finished up our program, the ATP program, earlier this year. And that has just been phenomenal in terms of the opportunity to create additional value for our members and our pork and beef producers all over the country. The fact that there’s another opportunity here will allow USMEF and other cooperators and other parts of agriculture in the U.S. to maintain some of this momentum in the export markets.”
Halstrom added that additional resources are especially beneficial in emerging markets, allowing U.S. agriculture to diversify its export destinations.
“The ATP, or the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program, allowed us to not only overcome some of the trade obstacles that we had at that time, but allowed us to go into some of the newer markets around the world and really establish a footprint. Colombia for example, where we were really we’re able to get aggressive. Also, the Philippines was another area on beef and pork where we were able to get aggressive. We would have been involved in these markets anyway, but not nearly to the extent that we ended up being able to invest in those markets, and these emerging markets are where really the opportunity is long term. And whatever we can do today to invest for the future, there’s no doubt that there’ll be payback over time.”
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