Why Is The USDA Stonewalling A Response To A Follow-Up Question About FMD/MAP Funding For Which It Previously Provided Answers?
Since 7 August 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has refused to respond to a question relating to Foreign Market Development (FMD) and Market Access Program (MAP) funding available for use in the Republic of Cuba.
The five-year Agriculture Improvement Act, known as the “Farm Bill” signed into law on 20 December 2018 by The Honorable Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, authorized FMD and MAP program funding to be used in the Republic of Cuba.
Why won’t the USDA answer as to what, if any, requests for using FMD and MAP funding have been made to the USDA since 9 May 2019? The answer was not a secret in April 2019 and not a secret in May 2019. Since August 2019, the USDA seems to have deemed the answer to be classified.
Texts Of Two Emails To USDA:
9 September 2019
I am writing to follow-up my request of 7 August 2019 relating to FMD/MAP funding for the Republic of Cuba included in the 2018 Farm Bill. There is a concern as to why the USDA, which is normally prompt with its responses to questions submitted by media, has chose not to respond to a request of more than one month ago. My question: Since your most recent response to me on 9 May 2019, has the USDA "received any requests, to authorize the redirection of already allocated funds to Cuba this fiscal year."?
7 August 2019
I am writing to follow-up your response to me of 9 May 2019 relating to FMD/MAP funding for the Republic of Cuba included in the 2018 Farm Bill. My question: Since your response to me on 9 May 2019, has the USDA "received any requests, to authorize the redirection of already allocated funds to Cuba this fiscal year."?
Text Of Email From USDA:
11 October 2019
"Thank you for your inquiry. We apologize for the delayed response. As of the conclusion of the 2019 federal fiscal year, the Foreign Agricultural Service can report that:
The 2018 Farm Bill, which authorized the expenditure of USDA market development funds in Cuba, was passed in December 2018. At that point, USDA had already allocated FY 2019 funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD). USDA did not subsequently receive any requests to authorize the redirection of already allocated funds to Cuba.
FY 2020 applications for MAP and FMD were due to USDA by June 28, 2019. USDA is currently reviewing the applications and expects to announce FY 2020 funding allocations later this fall.
Best regards, FAS Press Team"
The following are posts by the Economic Eye On Cuba relating to the MAP/FMD funding available for the Republic of Cuba:
Established in 1994, the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council provides an efficient and sustainable educational structure in which the United States business community may access accurate, consistent, and timely information and analysis on matters and issues of interest regarding United States-Republic of Cuba commercial, economic, and political relations.