USDA Allocates $300 Million to Boost American Agricultural Exports: New Markets, Greater Opportunities

By Trish Svoboda

On May 21, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declared that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will distribute $300 million to 66 American organizations. This funding is part of the newly established Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP), which aims to build demand for American agricultural products and food exports in promising global markets.

RAPP was initiated by Secretary Vilsack in October 2023, with an authorization of $1.2 billion from the Commodity Credit Corporation. The program’s objective is to assist U.S. exporters in broadening their customer base beyond conventional and mature markets.

The initial allocation of RAPP funding will enable the recipient organizations to implement hundreds of projects, covering a broad range of products and markets. Some examples include:

· The U.S. Dairy Export Council aims to broaden its footprint in Africa by using RAPP funding to gain a better understanding of and develop dairy import regulations and regulatory frameworks in numerous markets.

· The U.S. Meat Export Federation is planning to extend its export initiatives to new markets in the ASEAN region and across Africa, as well as increase its investment in the convenience store segment in South Korea, Central America, and Colombia.

· The Brewers Association plans to engage with the emerging craft beer scene in Southeast Asia by participating in the region’s leading brewing trade show and festival, and also by inviting buyers from the region to the top trade shows in the United States.

“USDA and the entire Biden-Harris Administration are focused on creating more, new and better markets for U.S. producers and agribusinesses, and exports are a critical part of that effort,” Vilsack said. “By enabling U.S. exporters to expand their footprint in diverse and dynamic new markets, RAPP will help make them more competitive and resilient in an increasingly volatile global trading environment. USDA is pleased to be able to provide the start-up capital to help tap into these opportunities.”

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