NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Market Access Program Gives Jerky Corporate Welfare

July 16, 1998

The Agriculture Department's Market Access Program showers some of America's wealthiest companies with funds to promote their products overseas. The MAP enjoys a budget of $85 million a year, but the General Accounting Office says its activities are essentially inconsequential to U.S. food exports.

  • In 1995, MAP gave $500,000 to Tyson Foods, $730,000 to Welch Foods and $42,000 to Pepperidge Farms.
  • Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. got $308,000 from taxpayers, Campbell Soup Co. got $281,000 and the beef jerky company High Mountain Jerky Inc. grabbed $14,000.
  • Among associations, $500,000 landed in the lap of the Popcorn Institute, the Mohair Council cuddled up under a $75,000 grant, the U.S. Meat Export Federation sliced off an $8.4 million chunk and the California Wine Institute guzzled $3 million.

The MAP even spends some of its funds soliciting food companies to request grants for some of its free money. "Is this a government program," asks MAP foe Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), "or is this a Publisher's Clearing House contest?"

Source: Stephen Moore (Cato Institute), "Litmus Test on Corporate Pork," Washington Times, July 16, 1998.

 

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