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USDA REQUESTS COMMENTS ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO MARKET ACCESS PROGRAM REGULATIONS

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2009—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) today requested public comments on proposed regulation changes for the Market Access Program (MAP). The changes are expected to clarify program requirements ranging from application procedures to evaluations. The deadline for submitting comments is Nov. 9, 2009.

The MAP provides cost-share assistance to nonprofit U.S. trade organizations and small-sized entities to help create, expand and maintain foreign markets for U.S. agricultural commodities and products. MAP participants must contribute a minimum of 10 percent of the funds provided by the program for the cost of generic marketing and promotion activities and a dollar-for-dollar match for branded promotions.

Some of the rule changes include:

  • Updating and merging application and activity plan requirements to reflect the Unified Export Strategy (UES) system;
  • Clarifying the eligibility of activities designed to address international market access issues;
  • Modifying the list of eligible and ineligible contributions; and
  • Revising evaluation and contracting procedures and the compliance review and appeals processes.

Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods: Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov; e-mail to podadmin@fas.usda.gov; fax to (202) 720-9361; hand delivery or courier to U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service, Office of Trade Programs, Program Operations Division, Portals Office Building, Suite 400, 1250 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20024; or U.S. Postal delivery to U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service, Office of Trade Programs, Program Operations Division, Stop 1023, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20250-1042.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on Sept. 8, 2009.  For more information, contact Mark Slupek, Director, Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs at tele.: (202) 720-4327; or by e-mail: podadmin@fas.usda.gov.

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PR 0219-09



 
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