The chief economist for the U-S Senate Ag Committee will speak in Des Moines today on the world trade impact of the new farm bill. Dr. Stephanie Mercier is an Iowa native and a graduate of Iowa State University. Mercier says the key impact on world trade is in the promotion of U-S products.She says the trade portion of the bill isn’t a significant portion of the spending in the bill, but she says it does have a 650-million-dollar increase in funding for the promotion programs for exports. Mercier says a portion of that promotional funding will come Iowa’s way.She says the “market access” program will go from 90-million up to 200-million on a gradual basis. She says Iowa commodity groups will be able to get some of that money to promote their products. Mercier says the increased trade could show some benefits at the supermarket for consumers.She says the ag bill should lead to reduced food prices, but the decrease would be small enough that most people likely won’t notice it. Mercier says the benefits gained for consumers come in small increments.She says the cost of bulk food is only a small amount of the total cost of the food. Mercier is speaking today at the Iowa Export Assistance Center in Des Moines.
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