Earlier today, the Office of Management and Budget released a Budget Blueprint outlining the Trump Administration’s FY2018 Budget. The Blueprint proposes to reduce or eliminate several programs important to developing and supporting the work of cooperatives, both domestically and abroad. Examples include the elimination of discretionary programs at USDA, such as the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG), as well as deep reductions in international development funding and the elimination of tailored U.S. development agencies.

In a statement released today in response to the Trump administration’s Budget Blueprint, Judy Ziewacz, President and CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association stated:

“As presented, President Trump’s proposed Budget Blueprint appears to directly and negatively impact cooperative business of all sizes with deep reductions in domestic discretionary spending and foreign aid. On behalf of the over 120 million members of cooperatives and 40,000 cooperative businesses throughout the nation that inject over $600 billion back into the economy, we express strong concern about the direction of this proposal and what it could mean to families and communities, both domestically and internationally.

Cooperatives and the use of cooperative principles are a time-tested strategy to stabilize economies and provide economic opportunities to families and small businesses. Internationally, it is in the interest of the U.S. to invest in stabilizing and growing developing economies. This budget would cut deep into domestic and international communities where cooperatives are a lifeline. Now is not the time to decrease support for this effective strategy.

NCBA CLUSA will continue to track this issue and will be working with leaders in congress and the Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus to advocate on behalf of NCBA CLUSA’s members, working to ensure that a vital sector of the American economy can continue to thrive.”