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Support for U.S. Agricultural Exporters
August 29, 2023 Ken Click and Rob Brennan, Business Development Specialists

With agricultural exports generating billions of dollars each year, the United States is one of the largest agriculture exporters in the world – and the U.S. government offers many resources to help small businesses in this industry succeed in global markets. In addition to EXIM’s trade finance offerings, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agriculture Service (USDA FAS) and many other organizations provide extensive support.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agriculture Service offers market intelligence and analysis, market development, market access, and trade finance solutions. Within the market intelligence and analysis sector are Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) reports which provide data that can be filtered by category (e.g., citrus, vegetables) and country. The GAIN reports about exports to specific countries and yields a wealth of information such as a country’s import food standards and procedures, top sectors for growth, competition to U.S. exports, and other key details. The agency’s Market Access Program (MAP) provides cost-sharing for international marketing and promotion opportunities, such as exhibiting in overseas tradeshows, to grow U.S. agricultural exports. In the trade finance space, the USDA offers several programs including its Export Credit Guarantee Program (also known as GSM-102) which “provides credit guarantees to encourage financing of U.S. agricultural product exports” and its Facility Guarantee Program, which “facilitates the financing of manufactured goods and services for agricultural related facilities and infrastructure that will primarily promote increased sales of U.S. agricultural commodities and products.” EXIM and the USDA FAS collaborated on a complementary webinar about expanding crops beyond U.S. borders.

With backing from the USDA FAS, there are four non-profit State Regional Trade Groups (SRTGs)Food Export Northeast, Food Export Midwest, Southern United States Trade Association, and the Western United States Trade Association – and each focuses on a specific area of the United States. These organizations offer exporter education, market entry guidance, and market promotion. To support U.S. agriculture businesses expand internationally, they help organize inbound buyers missions in the United States, trade missions and tradeshows internationally, and more. In addition to these SRTGs, agriculture trade associations, industry groups, and councils also play a critical role.

EXIM provides support to U.S. agricultural exporters primarily through its Export Credit Insurance and Working Capital Loan Guarantee Programs. Export Credit Insurance protects against international buyer nonpayment due to commercial and political risks and allows exporters to offer more favorable open account terms, while Working Capital Loan Guarantees improve cash flow for exporters. There are several specialty guides, including Tools and Opportunities for the Agriculture, Processed Food, and Seafood Industries, that cover these programs in detail. Additionally, EXIM’s Customer Success page features numerous examples of small businesses in agriculture and related industries that benefitted from EXIM support. Several of EXIM’s 2022 Exporters of the Year were in these industries, including a winery and a global provider of alfalfa hay.

To learn more about how EXIM’s financing support can minimize risk and level the playing field for U.S. agricultural exporters, click here to schedule a free consultation with an EXIM trade finance specialist.

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EXIM’s Blog postings are intended to highlight various facets of exporting, but the postings are not legal advice, and are not intended to summarize all legal requirements associated with exporting.