Foreign countries that compete with the U.S. for world market share are increasing their spending on promoting ag exports. Several countries, as well as the European Union, spent close to $1 billion in public funds on ag export promotion in 2016. Studies are showing those countries outspent the U.S. 4 to 1. That’s a 70 percent increase in competitive public spending since 2011. U.S. public funding for its two largest export promotion programs is about $235 million per year, with the real value declining by 12 percent since 2011. A study commissioned by the Wine Institute and other ag groups shows that public investment from the EU and four European countries will exceed $550 million in 2019. “That’s more than twice what the U.S. authorizes for agricultural export development under the farm bill,” says Mark Powers, Chair of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Ag Exports. Canada and Italy have doubled their spending on ag export promotion while China and Brazil have tripled their investment. Tom Sleight, U.S. Grains Council CEO, says increasing competition is one reason why organizations that participate in USDA cost-share export programs are calling for more funding of the U.S. program.