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Export Assistance Funding Programs for Agricultural Goods Seek Applications for FY 2018

Friday, May 19, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture is inviting applications for fiscal year 2018 funding under the following agricultural export programs.

Emerging Markets. The EMP is designed to assist in developing, maintaining, or expanding exports of U.S. agricultural commodities and products by funding activities that enhance emerging markets’ food and rural business systems, including reducing trade barriers. All EMP projects must fall into at least one of the following four categories.

- assistance to teams consisting primarily of U.S. individuals expert in assessing the food and rural business systems of other countries

- assistance to enable individuals from emerging markets to travel to the U.S. so that they can, for the purpose of enhancing the food and rural business systems in their countries, consult with food and rural business system experts in the U.S.

- assistance to enable U.S. agricultural producers and other individuals knowledgeable in agricultural and agribusiness matters to travel to emerging markets to assist in transferring their knowledge and expertise to entities in emerging markets in support of U.S. exports

- technical assistance to implement the recommendations, projects, and/or opportunities identified above

All U.S. agricultural commodities except tobacco are eligible for consideration under the EMP but should have at least 50 percent U.S.-origin content by weight (exclusive of added water). Proposals seeking support for multiple commodities are also eligible. Consideration will be given only to proposals that target countries or regional groups with per capita income of less than $4,036. Applications are due by Aug. 15.

Market Development and Market Access. The Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program and the Market Access Program are designed to create, expand, and maintain foreign markets for U.S. agricultural commodities and products through assistance in sharing the costs of certain overseas marketing and promotion activities. All U.S. agricultural commodities except tobacco are eligible for consideration.

USDA considers whether the applicant provides a clear, long-term agricultural trade strategy and an effective program timeline against which results can be measured at specific intervals using quantifiable product or country goals. USDA also considers the extent to which a proposed project targets markets with the greatest growth potential. Applications are due by June 19.

Quality Samples. The QSP is designed to encourage the development and expansion of export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities by assisting U.S. entities in providing commodity samples to potential foreign importers to promote a better understanding and appreciation for the high quality of U.S. agricultural commodities.

QSP supports projects that address a single market/commodity combination; benefit whole industries rather than specific companies or brands; and develop a new market for a U.S. product, promote a new U.S. product or promote a new use for a U.S. product. Projects must also either subject the commodity sample to further processing or substantial transformation in the importing country or use the sample in technical seminars in the importing country designed to demonstrate the proper preparation or use of the sample in the creation of an end product. QSP projects must target foreign importers and audiences who have not previously purchased the commodity at issue; are unfamiliar with the variety, quality attributes, or end-use characteristics of the commodity; have been unsuccessful in previous attempts to import, process, or market the commodity; are interested in testing or demonstrating the benefits of the commodity; or need technical assistance in processing or using the commodity.

Applications are due by Aug. 15.

Specialty Crops. The Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops program is designed to provide funding for projects that address sanitary, phytosanitary, or technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S. specialty crops. For TASC purposes specialty crops include all cultivated plants, or the products thereof, that are produced in the U.S. except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, peanuts, sugar, and tobacco.

TASC projects should benefit the represented industry rather than a specific company or brand and must address barriers to exports of commercially-available U.S. specialty crops. Applications are due by June 19.

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