Organizations that use government funds to promote U.S. commodity purchases in foreign countries could face some funding challenges in the near future.
The Hagstrom Report says that will likely happen if Congress doesn’t pass a farm bill by September 30.
Scott Shearer is a lobbyist who represents the FMD groups, which are called cooperators. “In this time of trade uncertainty and low prices, lack of funding, which likely leads to closing offices and letting staff go is a signal to our competitors that we’re ceding the market to you,” says Shearer.
That situation also would complicate the Trump Administration’s plans to help farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs through the increase of trade promotion programs. The potential funding gap happens because the Congressional Budget Office says programs that are under $50 million go to a zero baseline in their last year of authorization. Only a new farm bill can solve that problem. Shearer says an extension of the 2014 farm bill won’t help.
In past years, USDA has issued new allocations of funds in November. However, the agency can’t provide more money until Congress acts on a new farm bill.
Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.