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The Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture maintains nearly 100 offices covering agricultural trade issues in over 130 countries around the world. These offices disseminate trade information to exporters and importers. Staff in these offices can explain some of the U.S. government export and market promotion programs which could be beneficial to traders.
CCC Export Credit Guarantee Programs (GSM 102/103)
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), U.S. Department of Agriculture, administers export credit guarantees for commercial financing of U.S. agricultural exports. The guarantees encourage exports to buyers in countries where credit is necessary to maintain or increase U.S. sales, but where financing may not be available without CCC guarantees. The Export Credit Guarantee Program (GSM-102) covers credit terms up to three years. GSM-102 underwrites credit extended by the private banking sector in the United States (or, less commonly, by the U.S. exporter) to approved foreign banks using dollar-denominated, irrevocable letters of credit to pay for food and agribultural products sold to foreign buyers.
Supplier Credit Guarantee Program
A new Supplier Credit Guarantee Program helps U.S. exporters give short-term financing credit to foreign importers of agricultural commodities and consumer-ready products. Under the Supplier Credit Guarantee Program (SCGP), CCC guarantees a portion of payments due from importers under short-term financing (up to 180 days) that exporters have extended directly to the importers for the purchase of U.S. products. These direct credits must be secured by promissory notes signed by the importers. Regulations for this program are found in 7 CFR 1493, Subpart D. Importers in the Western Hemisphere and Asian Pacific have been the first to utilize the program.
Whereas the CCC EXPORT CREDIT GUARANTEE PROGRAMS are commercial programs, Public Law 480 (PL 480) programs assist the long-range improvement of economies in developing nations.
Eligible Countries: A developing country shall be considered eligible for PL 480 Title I if it has a shortage of foreign exchange earnings and has difficulty meeting all of its food needs through commercial channels.
Under Title II, countries are eligible where emergency food needs exist, and non-emergency food may be provided through eligible organizations.
Title I: provides for government to government sales of agricultural commodities to developing countries under long-term credit arrangements. Repayments for agricultural commodities sold under this title may be made either in U.S. dollars or in local currencies on credit terms up to 30 years. Activities in the recipient country for which these local currencies may be used include developing new markets for U.S. agricultural commodities on a mutually beneficial basis, paying U.S. obligations, and supporting agricultural development or research. While Title I is an authorized program, it is currently unfunded.
Title II: provides for the donation of u.s. agricultural commodities by the U.S. government to meet humanitarian food needs in foreign countries. Commodities may be provided to meet emergency needs under government-to- government agreements. Non-emergency assistance may be provided through private voluntary organizations, cooperatives, and inter-governmental organizations.
The Food For Progress (FFP) Program: This program authorizes the CCC to finance the sale and exportation of agricultural commodities on credit terms, or on a grant basis, to support developing countries and countries that are emerging democracies and have made com- mitments to introduce or expand free enterprise elements into their agricultural economies.
Emerging Markets Program
This program was originally authorized in the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (the Farm Bill) and amended by the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996. The Bill authorizes a program to provide technical assistance to promote U.S. agricultural exports to emerging markets.
The overall goals are to "develop, maintain, or expand markets for United States agricultural exports" in emerging markets, to improve the effectiveness of food and agribusiness systems in emerging markets, including potential reductions in trade barriers, and to increase prospects for U.S. trade and investment in these countries. All agricultural products are eligible for consideration.
There is no set list of "emerging market" countries; however, the following criteria will be used to judge whether a country fits the definition of an emerging market and has the potential to provide a viable and significant market for U.S. agricultural products:
Cochran Middle Income Fellowship Program
Since 1984, the United States Congress has made funds available for training agriculturists from selected middle income countries and emerging democracies. Training opportunities are for senior and mid-level specialists and administrators concerned with agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy, and marketing from the public and private sectors. Training programs, ranging in length from 2 weeks to 3 months, are arranged in conjunction with universities, federal agencies, commodity/product groups and associations, and agribusinesses.
The Market Access Program (MAP)
Formerly the Market Promotion Program, MAP uses funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to help U.S. producers, exporters, private companies, and other trade organizations finance promotional activities for U.S. agricultural products. The MAP encourages the development, maintenance, and expansion of commercial export markets for agricultural commodities. Principle activities under this program include public relations campaigns, advertising, market research, and program evaluation.
Foreign Market Development Program (FMD)
Also known as the cooperator program, FMD is administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The goal of the program is to develop, maintain, and expand long-term export markets for U.S. agricultural products, primarily through trade servicing and technical assistance programs. Created 40 years ago, the program fosters a trade promotion partnership between USDA and U.S. agricultural producers and processors who are rep- resented by non-profit commodity or trade associations called cooperators. Under this partnership, USDA and the cooperators pool their technical and financial resources to conduct market development activities outside the United States.
Related LinksU.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS)
FAS Export Readiness
State Regional Trade Groups (STRGs)
FAS Country Reports
Global Tariff Chart
U.S. Census Bureau Statistics
Cochran Fellowship Program