USDA Proposes Changes to Program Aiding Agricultural Exports
The Department of Agriculture is inviting public comments through Aug. 14 on proposed changes to the Facility Guarantee Program that would expand program coverage and streamline the application process.
The FGP is designed to boost sales of U.S. agricultural products in countries where demand may be limited due to inadequate storage, processing, handling or distribution capabilities. It provides credit guarantees to help finance the establishment or improvement of agriculture-related facilities and related activities as well as the procurement of goods or services to help facilitate imports of U.S. products.
The proposed rule would revise the application process to reduce the burden on participants, with the USDA expanding its role in demonstrating a benefit to U.S. agricultural commodity exports. There would be an initial “letter of interest” stage during which participants could receive preliminary feedback from USDA on a proposed transaction or project. The proposed rule would allow for coverage of non-U.S. goods if USDA determines that U.S. goods are not available or their use is not practical. It would also incorporate program modifications recently implemented in the GSM-102 Export Credit Guarantee Program.