Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) Is U.S. Link To The World

7th of a 10 Part Series

   Many may not be aware of the scope of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) role in supporting American agriculture. In a few words, the agency is the link for U.S. agriculture to the world in order to enhance export opportunities and global food security. Along with its Washington, D.C. staff, FAS maintains a global network of 93 offices in 171 countries, staffed by agricultural attachés and locally hired agricultural experts who are the eyes, ears, and voice for U.S. agriculture around the world.
   Foremost among the programs and services offered by FAS is its trade policy, which expands and maintains access to foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products by removing trade barriers and enforcing U.S. rights under existing trade agreements.  FAS works with foreign governments, international organizations, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to establish international standards and rules to improve accountability and predictability for agricultural trade.
   Another focus of FAS is market development and export assistance. The service partners with 75 cooperator groups representing a cross-section of the U.S. food and agricultural industry and manages a toolkit of marketing programs to help U.S. exporters develop and maintain markets for hundreds of products. FAS also supports U.S. agricultural exporters through export credit guarantee programs and other types of assistance.
   Data and analysis is another facet of attention. Through a network of global contacts and long-standing relationships with international groups, the agency has unique market intelligence capacity. Analysts with FAS collect objective information on foreign market opportunities, prepare production forecasts, assess export marketing opportunities, and track changes in policies affecting U.S. agricultural exports and imports.
   With food security in mind, FAS leads USDA’s efforts in helping developing countries improve their agricultural systems and build their trade capacity. FAS also partners with the U.S. Agency for International Development to administer U.S. food aid programs, helping the needy around the world. FAS’s non-emergency food aid programs help meet recipients’ nutritional needs and also support agricultural development and education.
To learn more about the Foreign Agriculture Service go to . ∆

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