Today, Rep. David Rouzer (NC-7), Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to examine the federal and state response to avian influenza.
USDA Grants $25 Million in New Loan Guarantees to Pakistan, $50 Million Total in Recent Weeks Expected to Finanace Purchase of Soft White Wheat
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On the heels of a request from Oregon Congressman Bob Smith, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today granted an additional $25 million--$50 million since May 29--in credit guarantees to Pakistan under the GSM-102 Export Credit Program, purchasing power the Pakistanis are expected to use for the purchase of soft white wheat.
ON THE HEELS OF A REQUEST FROM OREGON CONGRESSMAN BOB SMITH, CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA) TODAY GRANTED AN ADDITIONAL $25 MILLION -- $50 MILLION SINCE MAY 29 -- IN CREDIT GUARANTEES TO PAKISTAN UNDER THE GSM-102 EXPORT CREDIT GUARANTEE PROGRAM, PURCHASING POWER THE PAKISTANIS ARE EXPECTED TO USE FOR THE PURCHASE OF SOFT WHITE WHEAT.
Smith, who has made reducing non-tariff trade barriers and increasing American agriculture exports a principal focus of the Agriculture Committee in the 105th Congress, has advocated an aggressive use of export programs, including the GSM credit guarantees and the Export Enhancement Program. In May, Smith wrote Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman to ask that USDA expand the use of GSM credit guarantees to several countries - including Pakistan - to facilitate the export of U.S. farm products. USDA did just that, extending $25 million in credit guarantees to Pakistan on May 29. Smith's letter to Glickman follows this release.
Following that announcement, Smith, by telephone, asked FAS officials to extend even greater allocations of GSM-102 to Pakistan. That effort paid off today, when FAS announced that it had granted another $25 million -- $50 million in total since Smith's first letter to Glickman - in export credit guarantees to Pakistan.
"I'm delighted that USDA saw the wisdom in extending additional credit guarantees to Pakistan. We have a wide range of useful, cost-effective measures to facilitate farm exports. We only have to use them. This will be good for our balance of trade, good for the Pakistani people, and most importantly, good for Oregon agriculture," Smith said.
"I will continue to press the Administration and Congress to recognize the enormous benefits we can reap from using the export tools at our disposal. With the most efficient, productive agriculture economy in the world, we simply must be aggressive about securing foreign markets. If we don't, we know for sure that someone else will, and then the farmer and the American taxpayer alike will lose," Smith said.
The eastern region of Smith's Second Congressional District is a major source of soft white wheat and is expected to benefit as a result.
Smith represents Oregon's Second Congressional District, which includes much of eastern, southern, and central Oregon, in the U.S. House of Representatives.