In the last week before the August recess, Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, successfully pushed a bipartisan dairy price reporting bill through the Senate and pressured U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk (pictured) on important agriculture trade issues.
During a combined working session and hearing on Wednesday, the full Senate Agriculture Committee approved S. 3656, the Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010. The act gives the Secretary of Agriculture one year from the time the bill is signed into law to create an electronic reporting system for dairy products. Once implemented, the new system would build on the existing weekly dairy product price reporting. Until that time, the current reporting procedure will remain in place.
The Senate approved the price reporting bill on Thursday by unanimous consent. The House of Representatives has yet to act on a nearly identical bill approved by its Agriculture Committee.
The full text of the Senate Mandatory Price Reporting bill is available here.
After passing the bill, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on trade in agricultural products with testimony from Ambassador Kirk and several agriculture groups from around the country. Among the issues raised by the senators were dairy trade concerns with India and other countries and the administration's ongoing negotiation of multilateral trade agreements, including the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Kirk reassured the members that his office was seeking enforcement of existing World Trade Organization rules and would not negotiate any agreement that would be a disadvantage to the U.S. dairy sector.
Read the full text of Kirk's remarks here.
For more information on mandatory price reporting, contact Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs, at (202) 220-3553 or firstname.lastname@example.org.