Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith continued her fight to open new international markets for Minnesota farm products by throwing her support behind bipartisan legislation to help farmers, rural cooperatives, and small businesses sell more exports abroad.
The Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports Act (CREAATE) would bolster funding for key USDA programs that help American farmers branch out into international markets. Expanding these business opportunities and trade partnerships would provide some much-needed support to family farmers and ag operations across the state that have weathered tough commodity prices during recent years.
“I fought for a spot on the Agriculture Committee because farming is the foundation of Minnesota’s economy,” said Sen. Smith. “As Minnesota famers continue to push through tough times, I want to make sure that they have every opportunity to sell their products and stay strong. This bipartisan bill would ratchet up our ag export policies to another level, allowing family farmers to establish, build, and maintain their economic partnerships in international markets.”
The CREAATE Act—originally introduced by Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)—would support the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMDP) by doubling their funding over five years. MAP and FMDP have displayed a return of $28.30 for every dollar invested between 1977 and 2014. USDA export programs like MAP and FDMP have added an annual average of $8.15 billion to the value of American agricultural exports, and added up to 239,800 full and part-time jobs, including 90,000 farm sector jobs.