The House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture, chaired by Rep. Johnson, R-Ill., held a hearing to review market promotion and development programs administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

The FAS operates five market promotion programs designed to tackle non-tariff trade barriers. The Market Access Program (MAP), Foreign Market Development Program (FMD), Emerging Markets Program, Quality Samples Program, and the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops program are each designed to assist various commodities and sectors.

FAS Administrator John Brewer testified on behalf of the Administration, followed by an industry panel. Those testifying on the industry panel were: Mike Wootton (Sunkist Growers) (also testifying on behalf of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives), Steve Censky (American Soybean Assoc.), Thad Lively (US Meat Export Federation), Tim Hamilton (Food Export Assoc. of the Midwest USA) and George Nikolich (California Grape & Tree Fruit League).

In his testimony, Censky noted the importance of MAP and FMD to the cotton industry and the work of Cotton Council International. Rep. Costa, D-Calif., the Subcommittee’s ranking member, said, "The export market promotion programs we examined today are vital tools for agricultural producers in California’s Central Valley and across the country. These programs help promote a free and fair global trading system that levels the playing field for American producers and provide economic gains of $35 for every $1 invested.”