June 21, 2018

Young Introduces Bill to Grow American Food Export Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)introduced the Growing American Food Exports Act to strengthen our country’s agriculture industry by ensuring that innovative biotechnology products have access to a competitive export economy so that farmers have continued success internationally and at home. 

“Agriculture is the backbone of Indiana and vital to our country’s economic success. With nearly 457.4 million acres, U.S. farmers are the largest producers of biotechnology crops in the world,” said Senator Young.“We must continue to provide our hardworking farmers with the tools necessary to compete and succeed. This legislation would help ensure that innovative agriculture technology has access to trading partners in order to promote job growth in our rural farming communities and strengthen food security throughout the world.”

“Developing new market opportunities is vital for Hoosier farmers, and I’m proud to join my colleague Senator Young to introduce legislation that would continue efforts to ensure other countries have science-based regulations that give Hoosier and American farmers the opportunity to compete on a level playing field,” said Senator Donnelly.

“Missouri farmers and producers are using innovative technologies to drive growth and production in the ag industry,” said Senator Blunt.“This bill will help ensure export markets remain open to cutting-edge Missouri farm products, and agriculture products across the U.S., so we can work to meet the world food demand and other opportunities that lie ahead.” 

“It’s critical for Missouri farmers to have access to global markets to sell their crops and agricultural technology,” said Senator McCaskill.“We need to be doing more to open doors to new markets instead of closing them, and this will be another tool in the government’s toolbox to help achieve that goal.” 

“BIO applauds the introduction of the “Growing American Food Exports Act of 2018” by Senator Young to reauthorize funding for USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) Biotechnology and Agricultural Trade Program. Trade is critical to America’s agricultural economy, as 20 percent of U.S. grown goods are sold in foreign markets. It is essential that USDA is properly equipped to advocate for America’s farmers and for the innovative technologies that make U.S. grown goods the best in the world,” said Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

“The work of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service is critical to the continued success of the seed industry.  The seed industry is built on a long history of innovation; and continued innovation is paramount to the future of agriculture. Reauthorization of the Biotechnology and Agricultural Trade Program will ensure FAS has a continued source of funding for areas of key importance to the seed industry, such as science-based regulations and resolution of non-tariff barriers to trade. The American Seed Trade Association is fully supportive of Senator Young’s efforts to support agricultural innovation both here and abroad,” said American Seed Trade Association. 

The legislation would reauthorize the important Biotechnology and Agricultural Trade Program which facilitates international agreements on the use of various biotechnology products.  It would also provide the Foreign Agricultural Service with the funding needed to advocate for any and all new agricultural production technologies.

The Growing American Food Exports Act will do the following:

  • Amend the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to update a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service program to fund efforts to eliminate non-tariff trade barriers for American agriculture exports
  • Provide consistent funding for the Biotechnology and Agricultural Trade Program
  • Clarify that the Foreign Agricultural Service has the authority to advocate for all new agricultural production technologies

Additional supporters: Indiana Farm Bureau, Missouri Farm Bureau, Indiana Corn Growers Association, and Indiana Soybean Alliance.