$200 Million for Trade Promotion Efforts. The Department of Agriculture has awarded $200 million through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program to 57 organizations to help U.S. farmers and ranchers identify and access new export markets. All sectors of U.S. agriculture, including fish and forest product producers, were eligible to apply for cost-share assistance under the ATP. Applications were evaluated according to criteria such as the potential for export growth in the target market, direct injury from retaliatory tariffs, and the likelihood that the proposed project or activity will have a near-term impact on agricultural exports.

A USDA press release notes that President Trump has authorized up to $12 billion to help mitigate the effects of trade retaliation against U.S. farmers and exporters. In addition to the $200 million allocated to the ATP, this package includes the Market Facilitation Program to provide payments to farmers harmed by retaliatory tariffs and a food purchase and distribution program to assist producers of targeted commodities.

Trade Advisory Committees Seek Members. The USDA, in cooperation with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, is accepting through March 1 nominations for new members to serve on its agricultural trade advisory committees. Committee members must have knowledge of agriculture and trade matters, be U.S. citizens, and qualify for a security clearance.

Members of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee advise on the operation of existing U.S. trade agreements, negotiating new agreements, and other trade policy matters.

Members of the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees represent the following specific commodity sectors and provide technical advice and guidance on trade issues that affect both domestic and foreign production.

- animals and animal products

- fruits and vegetables

- grains, feed, oilseeds, and planting seeds

- processed foods

- sweeteners and sweetener products

- tobacco, cotton, and peanuts

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