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This is a serious situation, and I say again, with all due deference to the cotton bill, either the one that I understand the Senate has voted out, or the Cooley bill, If we refuse flatly to use section 22 in proper cases, there isn't any agricultural program that can work effectively.
Where you ought to use it, how soon and at what level is always a question. And may I say again, Mr. Secretary, this act says it shall be initiated by you. After that, it becomes a matter for determination by the Tariff Commission. But I do think the facts are such as to warrant a full study by you as to what the possible solution is.
We hope we can count on you doing that.
Again, what we are requesting here is a thorough study and a determination. Of course, we can't run your shop for you. We might try sometimes, but that is your business.
EFFECT OF FOREIGN ASSISTANCE ACTIVITIES ON AMERICAN SURPLUSES
Now I also would like to know if we are furnishing from the Department, or whether the State Department or the foreign aid people, with your consent and advice in the Department, are furnishing any technicians to any foreign countries for the purpose of assisting in the production of any commodity of which we have a surplus in this country? Can that be made available to us?
Secretary FREEMAN. Yes. I would answer that by saying that we are seeking to cooperate with other segments in the Government, to carry forward the policy of the United States of which one is economic assistance and in doing so, to properly safeguard the interests of American agriculture. To my best knowledge, we are not assisting foreign countries in the production of commodities that we have in surplus, so that those same commodities will be competitive and create problems for American agriculture.
I would want to the record to show that it is my personal conviction, as I review the export figures of our own agricultural commodities, that our aid efforts have resulted in significant increases in our exports and on balance they can properly be given credit for having contributed to the very significant growth in our agricultural exports. This is particularly true in the area of the food-for-peace program, with the use of foreign currencies received from the sale of agricultural commodities for various market development programs, and the launching of what I believe has been a very successful trade promotion effort in a great number of different commodities—wheat and others.
Japan has a lot of your wheat out there now, Congressman Horan, that they didn't have before. And as the economy is strengthened in these various countries, they find themselves in a food shortage position and their commercial needs grow. As such, this is an important part of our market-creating program. There are some very interesting examples of this that I used this week testifying before the House Agriculture Committee on Public Law 480 that might be incorporated in this record, and I think would be of great interest to this subcommittee.
Mr. WHITTEN. We would be glad to have it.
Mr. WHITTEN. I would also like to have for the record, the number and types of the employees that the Department may have assisting in the aid programs, if they are assisting in connection with promotion of the production of agricultural commodities in any foreign country which are in surplus supply in this country.
I am interested only in production in such country for export by that country. I have always drawn a line of difference where the country is a deficit area, which might be truly a case of helping it to get ahead.
My attention is called to the fact that you have set up a new section in the Department to cooperate with AID, and we will be talking to them later, when they are before us.
(The information referred to follows:)
To date in this fiscal year the USDA has loaned 50 individual technicians to AID for short periods of 1 to 3 months on reimbursable details. These include Agricultural credit specialists to Latin America, Africa, and Asia.-
6 Foresters to Latin America and Africa..
14 Soil conservation specialists to Latin America and Near East..
6 Agricultural economists to Latin America and South Asia.--
4 Agricultural research technicians to Latin America, Africa, and Asia.. 16 Federal Extension Service specialists to Latin America..
2 Farmer Cooperative Service specialist to Latin America..
1 Agricultural Marketing Service specialist to Latin America..
1 These specialists have worked on a variety of specific problems such as how to improve the marketing of local food supplies, disease and insect controls, irrigation and drainage, soil fertility and plant nutrition, agricultural credit, forest fire control, and land tenure.
At AID's request the Department now has personnel stationed abroad the following AID funded projects:
The Department is also continuing to make its domestic facilities available, under arrangements whereby the Agency for International Development finances the costs, to plan and conduct training programs for foreign nationals in the United States, supply technical information and advice to their AID personnel and in specific instances, our research laboratory facilities. Under this latter item, laboratory services and personnel for two AID projects are currently being provided ; namely, plant and seed materials, and salinity and soil fertility.
Mr. WHITTEN. I also can say, under Public Law 480, where we sell commodities for foreign currency and then turn over 90 percent of the foreign currencies to the country receiving the commodities, and then we make up the deficit here in restoration of capital impairment, I am sure that would enable most anybody to increase exports. So in the figures we asked for yesterday, make a clear distinction between exports for dollars and exports through various and sundry aid programs, whether it is Public Law 480 or not.
Mr. GRANT. All right, sir.
Mr. WHITTEN. In view of the statement of the Secretary, that our exports have increased as a result of foreign aid, I would like you to go back for a period earlier than that and show the comparable figures.