AGES No. (AGES-9033) 75 pp

May 1990

Agricultural Export Programs: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation

Lawmakers authorized several new export programs under the Food Security Act of 1985 in an attempt to increase agricultural exports. U.S. agricultural exports began to recover in fiscal 1987 and, in fiscal 1989, climbed to $39.6 billion, their highest level since 1981. Since 1986, U.S. agricultural export programs, a depreciating dollar, lower domestic commodity prices relative to world prices, and increased demand from importers have contributed to improved agricultural export sales. However, competition for world agricultural markets also has increased. Export programs help U.S. exporters meet subsidized competition, provide humanitarian relief, assist credit-seeking importers, and may help develop new overseas markets for U.S. agricultural products. Issues which could affect export programs in 1990 legislation include tightened U.S. and global grain stocks, potential budget exposure for increased loan guarantees, and the outcome of trade negotiations under the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Keywords: Export programs, exports, food aid, subsidies, credit, trade negotiations, world trade, Export Enhancement Program

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