USA, Washington. US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $200 mill. to 57 organizations through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) to help US farmers and ranchers identify and access new export markets.
The ATP is one of three USDA programs created to mitigate the effects of unjustified trade retaliation against US farmers and exporters. USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) accepted ATP applications between September 4 and November 2 – totaling nearly $600 mill. – from U.S. trade associations, cooperatives, and other industry-affiliated organizations.
“At USDA, we are always looking to expand existing markets or open new ones, so we are proud to make good on the third leg of the President’s promise to America’s farmers,” said Secretary Perdue. “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.”
All sectors of US agriculture, including fish and forest product producers, were eligible to apply for cost-share assistance under the ATP. FAS evaluated applications according to criteria that included the potential for export growth in the target market, direct injury from the imposed retaliatory tariffs, and the likelihood that the proposed project or activity will have a near-term impact on agricultural exports.