Major Trade Programs
Agricultural export programs help
develop and expand commercial outlets for U.S. commodities in world
markets and provide international food
and nutrition assistance. USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service
(FAS) administers the export and food aid programs contained in the
2008 Farm Act, except for Titles II and III of the revised P.L.
480, which are assigned by law to the U.S. Agency for International
export programs include the following:
- Dairy Export Incentive Program offers
subsidies to exporters of U.S. dairy products to help them compete
with other subsidizing nations. The Commodity Credit Corporation
(CCC) makes payments on a bid basis in cash, in kind, or through
certificates redeemable for commodities. The program was originally
authorized by the Food Security Act of 1985. See FAS website for program details.
- Export Credit Guarantee Program (GSM-102),
begun in 1982, is the largest U.S. agricultural export credit
program. By reducing financial risk to lenders, credit guarantees
encourage exports to buyers in countries--mainly developing
countries--where credit is necessary to maintain or increase U.S.
sales, but where financing may not be available without such
guarantees. See FAS website for program details.
- Market Access Program (MAP) is an export
promotion program designed to encourage development, maintenance,
and expansion of commercial farm export markets. The program
promotes exports of specific U.S. commodities or products in
specific markets. Under MAP, eligible participants receive payments
for promotional activities approved by the Secretary of
Agriculture. Participating organizations include nonprofit trade
associations, State and regional trade groups, and private
companies. Direct assistance for brand promotion to large firms is
prohibited unless the firms are agricultural cooperatives. More
than 80 percent of MAP funds go to develop markets for high-value
and processed products. See FAS website for program details.
Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC)
Program provides funding to public and private U.S.
organizations for technical assistance to address unique sanitary,
phytosanitary, and technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the
export of U.S. specialty crops. See FAS website for program details.
programs include the following:
- Public Law 480 (P.L. 480), the common name for
the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (P.L.
83-480), seeks to expand foreign markets for U.S. agricultural
products, combat hunger, and encourage economic development in
developing countries. It is also called the Food for Peace Program.
Title I of P.L. 480 makes U.S. agricultural commodities
available through long-term dollar credit sales at low-interest
rates for up to 30 years. Title II provides donations for emergency
food relief and nonemergency assistance. Title III authorizes "food
for development" projects. The Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and
Trade Act of 1990 authorized a new Food for Development program
under Title III that provides government-to-government grants for
food assistance to least developed countries. See FAS website for
- Food for Progress (FFP) was originally
authorized under Section 416b of the Agricultural Act of 1949 to
provide commodities to the governments of developing countries and
emerging democracies or to private voluntary organizations to
introduce elements of free enterprise into the countries'
agricultural economies. See FAS website for program details.
- Section 416(b) of the Agricultural Act of 1949
provides for overseas donations of CCC-owned surplus commodities to
friendly developing countries. See FAS website for program details.
- McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and
Child Nutrition Program, established by the 2002 Farm Act,
helps support education, child development, and food security for
some of the world's poorest children. The program donates
commodities and financial and technical assistance through
governments and private entities for preschool and school feeding
programs or commodities for sale to generate funding for school
feeding and nutrition projects. See FAS website for program details.
- Local and Regional Food Aid Procurement
Projects, also described as the cash food aid pilot
program, provides for grants or cooperative agreements to secure
local or regional procurements of commodities to respond to foreign
food crises and disasters. See FAS website for program details
- Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust (BEHT)/Food Security
Commodity Reserve. The Africa Seeds of Hope Act of 1998
amended Title III of the Agricultural Act of 1980, replacing the
Food Security Commodity Reserve and its predecessor, the Food
Security Wheat Reserve, with the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust
(BEHT). Commodities authorized for the 4-million-ton reserve
include wheat, corn, grain sorghum, and rice. CCC is authorized to
hold funds, as well as commodities in the reserve. The reserve is
available for use by the P.L. 480 program to respond to unexpected
humanitarian food crises in developing countries. See FAS website
for program details.
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