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Dear Speaker McCarthy, Minority Leader Jeffries, Majority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leader McConnell,
As farmers and agricultural leaders from across America’s Heartland, we write to thank you for your bipartisan leadership in the U.S. Congress to strengthen America’s commitment to global food security, particularly as lawmakers consider important legislation like the Farm Bill and appropriations for the U.S. International Affairs Budget.
Today, the impact of rising conflict, climate threats, and poverty has left more than 258 million people in 58 countries facing acute hunger at crisis levels. We believe that with today’s escalating global crises and competition, America must strengthen our nation’s leadership around the world to fight global hunger, enable our nation’s farmers to compete, and to build new stable markets for our agricultural exports.
With global competition on the rise from China and other players, it is even more important that America steps up to engage and build access to these new markets – especially when more than 60% of America’s agricultural exports now go to the developing world. We know that doing so takes critical investments in diplomacy and development to promote trade and exports and expand U.S. engagement in new and emerging markets. In fact, 11 of America’s top 15 trading partners were once recipients of U.S. foreign assistance.
As American agricultural leaders, we believe we have an important role to play in helping to feed not just our own citizens, but to help feed the world. It’s why we believe U.S. investments around the world, including those authorized by the Farm Bill – like Food for Peace and the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs – are critical to help save lives and fight hunger as part of America’s diplomacy, global development, and global food security toolkit.
Promoting international development and global food security has long been a bipartisan priority supported by Republican and Democratic administrations and Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. As you and your colleagues continue your legislative work this year, we urge you to support critical programs and resources that advance U.S. leadership in global food security through the International Affairs Budget.
Farmers across America and around the world are counting on you. Thank you for your continued leadership at this critical moment.