WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced several trade organizations are receiving over $25 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to promote Washington state agricultural products overseas. The funding is part of the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Cooperator Program, which provide America’s exporters with the resources they need to compete overseas.
“The grants secured today will yield exponential benefits at a time we need it most, creating jobs to carry out market research and development and increasing exports to newly identified foreign markets,” Cantwell said. “Today’s highly competitive global market demands a strong understanding of the resources needed to increase export efficiency to new markets. The grants awarded today will enable Washington state’s fruit, wine, potato, and hop industries to reach new markets worldwide.”
Trade organizations important to Washington state’s agriculture that are receiving funding include: · The Pear Bureau Northwest, $2,872,385 · Washington Apple Commission, $4,763,569 · Washington State Fruit Commission, $1,110,955 · Western United States Agricultural Trade Association, $9,454,075 · Hop Growers of America, $187,399 · Northwest Wine Promotion Coalition, $876,220 · National Potato Promotion Board, $5,152,444 · Cherry (tart) Marketing Institute, $262,799 · Welch Foods, Inc., $893,415
Activities conducted with MAP funding include market research, advertising, and seminars to educate overseas customers. FMD funding goes toward reducing market impediments, improving the processing capabilities of importers, modifying restrictive regulatory codes and standards in foreign markets, and identifying new markets or uses for U.S. products.
Cantwell, a longtime supporter of MAP, has lead Senate letters in support of the program.