USDA has awarded an additional $1 million of FY2011 Market Access Program (MAP) funds to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), and welcomes USMEF's decision to utilize these funds to augment their ongoing beef promotion in South Korea. USDA also welcomes the announcement by USMEF of a 5-year, $10 million initiative to regain and expand U.S. beef markets in Korea. USMEF's initiative will include the promotion of science-based decision making, the adoption of international standards to facilitate trade, and efforts to inform consumers of the safety and quality of U.S. beef.
USDA remains committed to ensuring that U.S. meat and meat products are treated fairly in the global marketplace and looks forward to working with industry partners to address trade barriers and increase market share in this critical market.
"We are pleased to partner with USMEF to promote U.S. meat exports globally, and share their desire to take advantage of new market access under the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement," said Secretary Vilsack. "U.S. beef exports to Korea increased 140 percent in 2010, but still remain below 2003 levels when Korea was our third-largest beef market. USMEF's long-term focus on Korea will help restore U.S. market share."
USMEF indicated it will seek an additional $10 million from USDA to promote beef trade in South Korea through USDA's Unified Export Strategy (UES) market development application to implement the strategic plan. USDA looks forward to receiving USMEF's application. USDA will give favorable review to USMEF and all other UES applications that demonstrate a well-defined strategy, a focus on new market opportunities, industry commitment through matching funds, and a good record of past performance. USDA and USMEF have been strong partners for close to 35 years, collaborating through USDA's Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program, to improve market access for U.S. meat and meat products internationally. Nearly every dollar invested in the partnership by USDA is matched by USMEF.
USDA's Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program are cost sharing programs that use Congressionally authorized funds from the USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to create, expand, and maintain long-term export markets for U.S. agricultural products. MAP is currently authorized annually at $200 million, and FMD at $34.5 million. Funding applications from industry undergo a competitive review process based on criteria specified in applicable program regulations and the respective notices of funds availability published in the Federal Register. Applications for FY 12 programs are due May 20, 2011, with funding allocated by USDA on October 1 or as otherwise provided by Congress.