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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Cotton Council International applauds USDA Funding for a New Export Promotion Program

Cotton Council International (CCI) applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement to allocate $1.3 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds to a new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP) to help non-profit U.S. trade associations market U.S.-grown agricultural products abroad.

“CCI’s objective is clear—increase long-term global demand for U.S. cotton and U.S. cotton products—and we could not achieve this goal without USDA agricultural promotion funding and matching U.S. cotton industry contributions,” CCI Executive Director Bruce Atherley said. “Differentiating U.S. cotton from other countries’ cotton requires a long-term, sustained effort, and additional funding would be indispensable in continuing to support U.S. cotton growers by expanding U.S. cotton export markets.”

“With the majority of the U.S. crop exported as either fiber or yarn, the future of the U.S. cotton industry is dependent upon increasing demand in overseas markets,” Atherley concluded. “RAPP funding would help us go even further in increasing global demand for U.S. cotton and supporting American agriculture.”

RAPP would supplement the USDA’s longstanding Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program. CCI and other agricultural trade organizations use this funding to build commercial export markets for U.S. agricultural products and commodities (MAP) and create, expand and maintain long-term export markets for U.S. agricultural products (FMD.)

RAPP could also fill the agricultural export funding gap that will be left when the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) ends Sept. 30, 2024. ATP was created in 2018 to “help U.S. agricultural exporters develop new markets and mitigate the adverse effects of other countries’ tariff and non-tariff barriers,” according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

CCI is the No. 1 recipient of MAP funds and the No. 2 recipient of FMD funds in FY2023, evidencing its ability to leverage its funding to provide tangible benefits for the U.S. cotton industry. The United States is the global leader in cotton exports by value, with a 33% share of the global export market in 2021, according to USDA, Economic Research Service.

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