WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2009 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) today requested comments and suggestions for improving the operation of its Facility Guarantee Program (FGP). The changes are designated to lower costs and improve the program’s effectiveness and efficiency, and ultimately, expand U.S. exports of agricultural products.
"This program provides valuable credit guarantees that help finance facility improvements, which, in turn, helps to increase sales of U.S. agricultural exports," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Emerging markets often lack the infrastructure to support increased trade, but by improving this program, we can open new markets for American agriculture."
The FGP works to expand sales of U.S. agricultural products to emerging markets where inadequate storage, processing, or handling capacity limit trade potential. The program provides payment guarantees to finance commercial exports of U.S. manufactured goods and services that will be used to improve or establish agriculture-related facilities.
Export sales of U.S. equipment or expertise to improve ports, loading and unloading capacity, refrigerated storage, warehouse and distribution systems, and other related facilities may qualify for facility guarantees, as long as these improvements are expected to increase opportunities for U.S. agricultural exports.
Comments and suggestions about this program may be submitted by any of the following methods, including e-mail: FGP.ANPR@fas.usda.gov; fax: (202) 720-2495, attention "FGP/ANPR Comments;" by U.S. mail: Mark Rowse, Director, Office of Trade Programs, Credit Programs Division, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Stop 1025, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-1025; or by hand delivery or courier: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service, Credit Programs Division, Portals Office Building, Suite 400, 1250 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2162.
The notice requesting comments was published in the Federal Register on Aug. 6, 2009. All comments and suggestions must be received by Oct. 5, 2009. Information about the FGP, including the Federal Register notice, may be obtained at www.fas.usda.gov/excredits/facility-new.asp.
For more information about submitting comments, contact Director, Credit Programs Division, Office of Trade Programs, telephone: (202) 720-6211.
Release No. 0381.09
FAS PR 0166-09
Contact: USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623