According to The Hardwood Federation, funding for the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD), an essential federal program that supports export promotion of the Hardwood industry through the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), has recently been eliminated through implementation of the “Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.” Although the Act has been in place for over 30 years, it has not been used widely until now.
The Act allows the baseline funding for programs authorized at less than $50 million to be eliminated when the program expires. FMD is currently funded at $34.5 million through the Farm Bill which expires next year. Although this action presents a very big challenge, there is strong bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate to find new funding for FMD and to restructure several agriculture support programs, including FMD and the Market Access Program, into a single program in the Farm Bill with a budget line well over the $50 million threshold.
The Hardwood Federation is working closely with AHEC and other commodity groups that depend upon FMD funding. However, they requested your help. If you have successfully used AHEC programs to increase exports, grow your business and hire new employees, please share those stories with the Hardwood Federation so that they may use them in their discussions with Members of Congress and their staffs working to correct this misguided policy.
Please submit your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Hardwood Federation will share your information with both AHEC staff and Congress.
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