This report discusses projected agricultural imports and exports for FY2003, as well as legislation that deals with federal programs in support of agricultural exports and federal aid dedicated to farms and agricultural reform.
A variety of animal agriculture issues, including prices, the impact of consolidation in the meat production/packing industry, trade, and the environmental impacts of large feedlots, continue to generate interest in Congress. This issue brief discusses these issues, as well as the 2002 farm bill, which contains several provisions affecting animal agriculture, including protections for contract growers, disaster assistance, country-of-origin labeling, and increased funding for conservation purposes.
With China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001, U.S. agricultural interests were hopeful that longstanding barriers to trade with that vast and growing market would begin to fall. However, critics charge that China is failing to honor commitments to open its markets, affecting U.S. exports of grains, oilseeds, meat and poultry, and other products. U.S. agriculture and trade officials have been working to resolve these differences.
Falling agricultural exports and declining commodity prices led farm groups and agribusiness firms to urge the 106th Congress to pass legislation exempting foods and agricultural commodities from U.S. economic sanctions against certain countries. In completing action on the FY2001 agriculture appropriations bill, Congress codified the lifting of unilateral sanctions on commercial sales of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical products to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Sudan, and extended this policy to apply to Cuba (Title IX of H.R. 5426, as enacted by P.L. 106-387; Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000). Related provisions place financing and licensing conditions on sales to these countries. Those that apply to Cuba, though, are permanent and more restrictive than for the other countries. Other provisions give Congress the authority in the future to veto a President's proposal to impose a sanction on the sale of agricultural or medical products.
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