USDA Export Spending
VILSACK … “Each day that goes by without a Speaker, without a budget, and without a farm bill, the likelihood of an extension grows.”
Prompting Secretary Vilsack to announce the use of $2.3 billion in CCC funds for export promotion and international food aid …
VILSACK … “The decision that we’re making and the decision we were asked to make by Senators Boozman and Stabenow is designed to provide some additional boost, at a time when it is challenging for the drafters of the farm bill to provide the resources necessary to meet all of the demand.”
Vilsack says that justifies the need to use all funding tools available.
$1.3 billion of the money will go to the Regional Ag Promotion Program to promote specialty crop exports and to continue a program started during the China trade war.
$1 billion will buy U.S. surplus goods to combat global hunger made worse by foreign conflicts …
VILSACK … “The unprovoked war in Ukraine, the current conflict in the Middle East, the stresses and challenges being faced by African nations, some Asian nations, and even Central America and South America.”
Close to one billion people face chronic hunger or starvation.
Meantime, the FY 2023 U.S. farm trade deficit was $19 billion and is forecast to grow to $27.5 billion this fiscal year.