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Agriculture in the WTO: Rules and Limits on Domestic Support
This report provides a brief overview of the World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments most relevant for U.S. domestic farm policy. The report discusses a key question that policy makers ask of virtually every new farm proposal is, how will it affect U.S. commitments under the WTO? The answer depends not only on cost, but also on the proposal's design and objectives, as described below.
Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea
This report discusses pending U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. The bills to implement these agreements will now be debated under trade promotion authority, or fast-track rules, designed to expedite congressional consideration. The report includes an overview of agricultural issues regarding FTAs and pending FTA partners, as well as a closer breakdown of the specific issues for each of the countries.
Agriculture in the WTO: Limits on Domestic Support
A potential major constraint affecting U.S. agricultural policy choices is the set of commitments made as part of membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), with its various agreements governing agriculture and trade, including dispute settlement. This report provides a brief overview of the WTO commitments most relevant for U.S. domestic farm policy. A key question that policymakers ask of virtually every new farm proposal is, how will it affect U.S. commitments under the WTO?
U.S. European Agricultural Trade: Food Safety and Biotechnology Issues
No Description Available.
Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Supplemental Appropriations, FY1989-FY2005
From FY1989 through FY2005 (to date), 31 appropriations, authorization, or farm disaster acts added approximately $53.2 billion in supplemental funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs (excluding the Forest Service, which is funded annually under the Interior appropriations bill). Nearly $41 billion, or 77% of the total amount, was for FY1999-FY2005 alone. Two FY2005 supplementals have been enacted to date, the largest of which was a disaster relief package in response to the 2004 hurricanes and other natural disasters, which included $3.5 billion for agricultural losses (attached to the FY2005 Military Construction Appropriations Act (P.L. 108-324)).
Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Supplemental Appropriations, FY1989-FY2006
From FY1989 through FY2006, 33 appropriations, authorization, or farm disaster acts added approximately $55.4 billion in supplemental funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs. The two most recent supplemental appropriations were provided in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf of Mexico and in preparation for a possible U.S. outbreak of avian influenza. Some FY1989, the vast majority of the total supplemental funding has been paid directly to farmers, primarily through two mechanisms: "market loss payments" and crop disaster payments. This report includes the total annual funding additions in the 33 acts providing economic and farm disaster assistance through USDA programs since FY1989.
Farm Support Programs and World Trade Commitments
Congress is now debating reauthorization of omnibus farm legislation, as most commodityprice support provisions expire in 2002. This report discusses this debate, specifically aspects relating to commitments that the U.S. has as a World Trade Organization (WTO) member. Because of the interrelationships between trade and domestic support policies, lawmakers are interested in what the Agreement on Agriculture stipulates with regard to domestic supports, and how not only the United States but also other countries are meeting their Agreement commitments.
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
This report discusses “Section 32”, which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this appropriation (now approximately $6.5 billion yearly) is transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) account that funds child nutrition programs.
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
This report discusses "Section 32", which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this sizeable appropriation (now about $5.7 billion per year) is simply transferred directly into the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) child nutrition account to fund school feeding and other programs.
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
This report discusses "Section 32", which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this sizeable appropriation (totaling approximately $6 billion each year) is transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) child nutrition account.
U.S. Agriculture and the International Monetary Fund
No Description Available.
U.S.-European Agricultural Trade: Food Safety and Biotechnology Issues
No Description Available.
Farm Disaster Assistance: USDA Programs and Recent Legislative Action
No Description Available.
Economic Sanctions and U.S. Agricultural Exports
Various statutes and regulations authorize the President to restrict or prohibit trade with targeted countries for national security or foreign policy reasons. The exercise of these authorities has resulted in restrictions or prohibitions at times being placed on the export of U.S. agricultural commodities and products. The U.S. government currently restricts exports of agricultural products as part of across-the-board economic sanctions imposed on Cuba and Iraq. Exceptions are made for humanitarian reasons, allowing food to be sold or donated to these two countries.
Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues
Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops (also called GM [genetically modified] crops, or GMOs, genetically modified organisms) became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. soybean, cotton, and corn farmers have rapidly adopted them. As adoption has spread, there have been policy debates over the costs and benefits of GE products. Issues include the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Congress generally has been supportive of GE agricultural products, although some Members have expressed wariness about their adoption and regulation. The 109th Congress will likely continue to follow trade developments, particularly the U.S.-EU dispute, as well as U.S. regulatory mechanisms for approving biotech foods.
Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute
In May 2003, the United States, Canada, and Argentina initiated a formal challenge before the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the European Union’s (EU’s) de facto moratorium on approving new agricultural biotechnology products, in place since 1998. Although the EU effectively lifted the moratorium in May 2004 by approving a genetically engineered (GE) corn variety, the three countries are pursuing the case, in part because a number of EU member states continue to block approved biotech products. Because of delays, the WTO is expected to decide the case by December 2005. The moratorium reportedly cost U.S. corn growers some $300 million in exports to the EU annually. The EU moratorium, U.S. officials contend, threatened other agricultural exports not only to the EU, but also to other parts of the world where the EU approach to regulating agricultural biotechnology is taking hold.
Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute
In May 2003, the United States, Canada, and Argentina initiated a formal challenge before the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the European Union’s (EU’s) de facto moratorium on approving new agricultural biotechnology products, in place since 1998. Although the EU effectively lifted the moratorium in May 2004 by approving a genetically engineered (GE) corn variety, the three countries are pursuing the case, in part because a number of EU member states continue to block approved biotech products. Because of delays, the WTO is expected to decide the case by December 2005. The moratorium reportedly cost U.S. corn growers some $300 million in exports to the EU annually. The EU moratorium, U.S. officials contend, threatened other agricultural exports not only to the EU, but also to other parts of the world where the EU approach to regulating agricultural biotechnology is taking hold.
Agriculture in the WTO: Member Spending on Domestic Support
Under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Agriculture (AA), member countries agreed to general rules regarding disciplines on domestic and export subsidies, and concessions on market access. This report focuses solely on the commitments made by WTO member countries concerning government outlays in support of domestic agricultural production. The three sections of the report provide a brief overview of WTO domestic policy commitments; background information on WTO member requirements for reporting on domestic subsidy outlays; WTO member outlays made to support agricultural production; and U.S. agricultural support outlays compared against spending limits. In addition, the report briefly discusses the implications for U.S. agricultural policy of continued adherence to existing WTO commitments.
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
This report discusses “Section 32”, which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this appropriation (now approximately $6.5 billion yearly) is transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) account that funds child nutrition programs.
The Farm Safety Net: In Brief
This report discusses the several programs operated by The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that supplement the income of farmers and ranchers in times of low farm prices and natural disasters. The programs are collectively called the farm safety net.
Animal Identification and Traceability: Overview and Issues
This report provides a summary of current developments in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) effort to establish a national animal traceability capacity with the intended goal of being able to rapidly identify and respond to an animal disease outbreak. National animal identification and traceability appear to have substantial economic value, yet federal proposals have proven controversial among certain segments of the U.S. cattle industry. This report provides background on animal ID and traceability in general, and the development of the current U.S. system of animal ID and traceability in particular. In addition, it reviews the claims and counter-claims of proponents and opponents of a national animal ID system, and describes many of the unresolved issues related to program development. Finally, two appendixes offer a brief chronology of the development of the U.S. National Animal Identification System (NAIS) and its successor program, and a brief description of the major international organizations involved in setting standards and rules for animal health and trade in animal products, along with summary descriptions of animal ID and traceability programs found in other major livestock producer and consumer countries.
Emergency Assistance for Agricultural Land Rehabilitation
This report discusses the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) several permanently authorized programs to help producers recover from natural disasters. Most of these programs offer financial assistance to producers for a loss in the production of crops or livestock. In addition to the production assistance programs, USDA also has several permanent disaster assistance programs that help producers repair damaged crop and forest land following natural disasters.
The 2008 Farm Bill: Major Provisions and Legislative Action
The report discusses the 2008 farm bill (H.R. 2419), covering a wide range of programs including The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, farm credit, agricultural conservation, research, rural development, and foreign and domestic food programs, among others.
U.S. Farm Income Outlook for 2016
This report discusses this the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) farm income outlook and its implications. According to USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS), national net farm income--a key indicator of U.S. farm well-being--is forecast at $54.8 billion in 2016, down 3% from last year. The 2016 forecast represents the third consecutive year of decline and would be the lowest since 2002 in both nominal and inflation-adjusted dollars.
U.S. Farm Income Outlook for 2015
This report discusses national net farm income, which is a key indicator of U.S. farm well-being. The outlook for lower net farm income, coupled with record farm wealth, suggests a mixed financial picture heading into 2015 for the agricultural sector as a whole, with substantial regional variation.
Emergency Assistance for Agricultural Land Rehabilitation
This report describes emergency agricultural land assistance programs designed to repair agricultural and forest land following a natural disaster and potentially mitigate future risk. It presents background on the programs--purpose, activities, authority, eligibility requirements, and authorized program funding levels, as well as current congressional issues.
The "Farm Bill" in Brief
Federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Many of these laws periodically have been evaluated, revised, and renewed through an omnibus, multi-year farm bill. This report discusses the "farm bill" and it's components.
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA’s Air Compliance Agreement
This report discusses a plan announced by EPA in January 2005, called the Air Compliance Agreement, that would produce air quality monitoring data on animal agriculture emissions from a small number of farms, while at the same time protecting all participants (including farms where no monitoring takes place) through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws.
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA’s Air Compliance Agreement
From an environmental quality standpoint, much of the interest in animal agriculture has focused on impacts on water resources, because animal waste, if not properly managed, can harm water quality through surface runoff, direct discharges, spills, and leaching into soil and groundwater. A more recent issue is the contribution of emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), enterprises where animals are raised in confinement, to air pollution. AFOs can affect air quality through emissions of gases such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, hazardous air pollutants, and odor. These pollutants and compounds have a number of environmental and human health effects. This report reviews key issues associated with the Air Compliance Agreement.
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA’s Air Compliance Agreement
This report discusses a plan announced by EPA in January 2005, called the Air Compliance Agreement, intended to produce air quality monitoring data on animal agriculture emissions from a small number of farms, while at the same time protecting all participants (including farms where no monitoring takes place) through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws.
Environmental Regulation and Agriculture
This report provides the background, status, and issues related to selected environmental regulations or initiatives possibly affecting agriculture that have drawn attention in and beyond Congress.
What Is the Farm Bill?
This report discusses the farm bill, which is an omnibus, multi-year piece of authorizing legislation that governs an array of agricultural and food programs.
Farm Safety Net Programs: Background and Issues
This report discusses several programs operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that supplement the income of farmers and ranchers in times of low farm prices and natural disasters. Federal crop insurance, farm programs, and disaster assistance are collectively called the farm safety net.
Methyl Bromide and Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
This report discusses Methyl Bromide (MeBr), a widely used pesticide in agriculture, is regulated for its potential ozone-depleting effects in the Earth’s stratosphere.
Soil and Water Conservation: An Overview
This report discusses soil and water conservation topics, which are prominent in discussions of policy options for the next farm bill. Two omnibus conservation proposals have been introduced (H.R. 1551 and H.R. 1600), and many interest groups continue to offer policy recommendations ranging from general concepts to specific legislative language.
Hog Prices: Questions and Answers
This report discusses price changes in the pork industry. In late 1998, the lowest hog prices in decades created a crisis in the pork industry and prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Congress to take a series of actions to assist producers, including direct cash payments, and the purchase of extra pork products to reduce market supplies. The industry sought additional aid as low prices persisted into 1999.
U.S. Farm Income
This report discusses the aggregate national net farm income and the farm debt-to-asset status as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It includes an overview of income and expenses for calendar year 2009, income projections through 2018, the average farm household income, and information about farm asset values and debt.
Farm Safety Net Programs: Background and Issues
This report discusses several programs operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that supplement the income of farmers and ranchers in times of low farm prices and natural disasters. Federal crop insurance, farm programs, and disaster assistance are collectively called the farm safety net.
What Is a Farm Bill?
No Description Available.
Agriculture: Payment in Kind (PIK) Program
On January 11, 1983, President Reagan announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would implement a payment-in-kind (PIK) program to help reduce Government grain surpluses and to improve farm income. The materials included in this report were compiled by Congressional Research Staff for Member of Congress desirous of more information on the subject.
Tobacco-Related Activities and Programs in the Federal Government: A Summary
No Description Available.
StarLink™ Corn Controversy: Background
No Description Available.
Merger and Antitrust Issues in Agriculture
No Description Available.
Animal Rendering: Economics and Policy
Renderers convert dead animals and animal byproducts into ingredients for a wide range of industrial and consumer goods, such as animal feed, soaps, candles, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products. This report describes the rendering industry and discusses several industry-related issues that arose in the 108th Congress.
Livestock Price Reporting: Background
No Description Available.
Livestock Price Reporting: Background
No Description Available.
The Payment-in-Kind (PIK) Program
No Description Available.
Humane Treatment of Farm Animals: Overview and Selected Issues
No Description Available.
Tobacco-Related Programs and Activities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture: Operation and Cost
No Description Available.
Farm Economic Relief and Policy Issues in the 106th Congress: A Retrospective
This report discusses issues regarding Agriculture funding, specifically the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act (P.L. 104-127), which prescribed farm commodity support policy through 2002.