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Big Picture: February 2019


Big Picture Report: February 2019
Bernadette Wiltz, SUSTA
In collaboration with World Perspectives, Inc.

On January 31, 2019, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had awarded $200 million to 57 U.S. agri-food organizations through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP). This program is a special one-time effort to help U.S. agricultural exporters develop new markets and help mitigate the adverse effects of other countries’ tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. Promotions under ATP will be funded up to a three-year fixed period and are intended to run concurrent with the current Market Access Program (MAP). Much like MAP, ATP funds may be used for activities such as consumer advertising, public relations, point-of-sale demonstrations, participation in trade fairs and exhibits, market research, and technical assistance.

Our team at the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) is thrilled to announce that USDA awarded SUSTA approximately $12 million in ATP funds. SUSTA’s process for applying included a comprehensive review of markets where programs are currently run, as well as analysis of new and/or expanded markets. SUSTA’s careful analysis was based on an alignment of key macro- and microeconomic demand indicators with the diverse mix of Southern U.S. products that SUSTA companies supply.

In addition to the markets that SUSTA currently runs programs in through its Global Events and 50% CostShare programs, ATP funds will allow SUSTA to run new and expanded export promotion activities in the following global markets:

Central America
Eastern Europe
Southeast Asia – including Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam

Secretary Perdue’s recent comment sums up the excitement and heightened expectations that the ATP program has given rise to:
“At USDA, we are always looking to expand existing markets or open new ones, so we are proud to make good on the third leg of the President’s promise to America’s farmers. This infusion will help us develop other markets and move us away from being dependent on one large customer for our agricultural products. This is seed money…that will help to increase our agricultural exports.”

Our team at SUSTA is ready to effectively and efficaciously employ ATP funds in new and expanded global markets to help our Southern U.S. agri-food businesses grow and prosper in their export endeavors. We look forward to renewed and expanded interest among our constituents!