Who is eligible to participate in the Export Assistance program?
Only dairy farmer cooperatives that are fully participating members of CWT that market eligible products are qualified to apply for assistance from CWT in making export sales to eligible countries. Export assistance is requested and assistance awarded on a bid basis.
How does the Export Assistance program bid process work?
Cooperatives seeking assistance submit a request for export assistance specifying the product to be exported, the quantity of product, the end customer, the country in which the customer is located, and the amount of assistance per metric ton of product.
CWT and NMPF staffs, with counsel from USDEC staff, analyze each bid received considering the market in which the product will be sold, the time of delivery, and world and U.S. product prices. If it determined that the level of assistance requested is reasonable, the bid is accepted. If, however, the analysis indicates the assistance requested is not reasonable, the member cooperative is advised of the maximum level of assistance CWT will provide. The member cooperative then has the option of accepting the assistance offered. If it does, the request for assistance is modified to reflect the level per metric ton CWT will provide, is assigned a bid reference number, and is dated and signed by the CWT Chief Operating Officer.
When does the member cooperative receive the assistance payment?
The cooperative does not receive payment from CWT until the paperwork, verifying that the product has been delivered to the customer, is submitted with a request for payment. CWT staff reviews the documents thoroughly, as required in the Export Assistance Operating Procedures. If they are found to be in order, a request for payment is submitted. Payment is made within 30 days of receiving the request for payment and the necessary supporting paperwork.
Do CWT-assisted export sales displace sales made without assistance?
The intent of the Export Assistance program is expanded sales of U.S. dairy products in world markets, not the displacement of existing sales. If CWT receives a claim that its assistance has displaced an unassisted export sale of a U.S. dairy product, the claim is thoroughly investigated.
In only one instance in the eight years CWT has been in existence has a substantiated claim been made of product being displaced. In that case, the country in which the sales were being made was declared ineligible for assisted sales on the eligible product list.