USDA awards trade promotion funds to fight tariffs

USDA awards trade promotion funds to fight tariffs

About two dozen fresh produce and nut companies are recipients of funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $200 million Agricultural Trade Promotion Program, to alleviate the effects of tariffs on exports.

The program’s purpose is to help exporters find new markets to offset losses from countries that have placed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agriculture products. That includes China, Mexico and some European countries.

The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, which administers the program, received requests of nearly $600 million, according to a news release.

The Agricultural Trade Promotion Program is one of three programs the Trump administration is using to help ag exporters to recoup losses from tariffs. The Market Facilitation Program and Food Purchase Distribution Program are also part of the administration’s plan to help exporters.

“We were pleased to see the large demand for participation in the program, and truly got some out-of-the-box ideas that we are hopeful will expand our global footprint,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in the release. “We examined all applications carefully, considered our ranking criteria, and awarded the funds in order to make the best use of taxpayer dollars in growing agricultural trade.”

Fresh produce and nut growers and the amount of they will receive are:

  • Almond Board of California, $3.19 million;
  • American Pistachio Growers, $1.72 million;
  • Blue Diamond Growers (almonds), $3.72 million;
  • California Cherry Marketing and Research Board, $394,000;
  • California Fresh Fruit Association, $268,000;
  • California Pear Advisory Board, $141,000;
  • California Prune Board, $1.12 million;
  • California Strawberry Commission, 577,000;
  • California Table Grape Commission, $2.86 million;
  • California Walnut Commission, $1.61 million;
  • Cal–Pure Produce Inc. (pistachios), $1.72 million;
  • Cranberry Marketing Committee, $1.14 million;
  • Florida Department of Citrus. $550,000;
  • National Potato Promotion Board, $3.67 million;
  • National Watermelon Promotion Board, $50,000;
  • Pear Bureau Northwest, $564,000;
  • Raisin Administrative Committee, $990,000;
  • Sunkist Growers Inc., $547,000;
  • U.S. Apple Export Council, $197,000’
  • U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, $260,000;
  • U.S. Pecan Growers Council, $1.33 million;
  • Washington Apple Commission $8.46 million;
  • Washington State Fruit Commission, $709,000.

Recipients also included groups that promote various commodities in export markets, including fresh produce, such as the Organic Trade Association, and regional trade groups such as the Southern and Western United States Trade Associations.