IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
June 29, 2011
Mr. Nelson of Florida (for himself, Mrs. Feinstein, and Mrs. Boxer) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance
To amend the Trade Act of 1974 to create a Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund to support research on diseases impacting the citrus industry, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as
Citrus Disease Research and
Development Trust Fund Act of 2011.
Findings and purposes
Congress finds that—
on imports of citrus and citrus products have ranged from $50,000,000 to
$87,000,000 annually since 2004, and are projected to increase, as United
States production declines due to the effects of huanglongbing (also known as
citrus greening disease) and imports
increase in response to the shortfall in the United States;
in cases involving other similarly situated agricultural commodities, notably wool, the Federal Government has chosen to divert a portion of the tariff revenue collected on imported products to support efforts of the domestic industry to address challenges facing the industry;
citrus and citrus products are a highly nutritious and healthy part of a balanced diet;
citrus production is an important part of the agricultural economy in Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas;
in the most recent years preceding the date of enactment of this Act, citrus fruits have been produced on 900,000 acres, yielding 11,000,000 tons of citrus products with a value at the farm of more than $3,200,000,000;
the commercial citrus sector employs approximately 110,000 people and contributes approximately $13,500,000,000 to the United States economy;
the United States citrus industry has suffered billions of dollars in damage from disease and pests, both domestic and invasive, over the decade preceding the date of enactment of this Act, particularly from huanglongbing;
huanglongbing threatens the entire United States citrus industry because the disease kills citrus trees;
as of the date of enactment of this Act, there are no cost effective or environmentally sound treatments available to suppress or eradicate huanglongbing;
United States citrus producers working with Federal and State governments have devoted tens of millions of dollars toward research and efforts to combat huanglongbing and other diseases and pests, but more funding is needed to develop and commercialize disease and pest solutions;
although imports constitute an increasing share of the United States market, importers of citrus products into the United States do not directly fund production research in the United States;
disease and pest suppression technologies require determinations of safety and solutions must be commercialized before use by citrus producers;
the complex processes involved in discovery and commercialization of safe and effective pest and disease suppression technologies are expensive and lengthy and the need for the technologies is urgent; and
research to develop solutions to suppress huanglongbing, or other domestic and invasive pests and diseases will benefit all citrus producers and consumers around the world.
The purposes of this Act are—
to authorize the establishment of a trust funded by certain tariff revenues to support scientific research, technical assistance, and development activities to combat citrus diseases and pests, both domestic and invasive, harming the United States; and
to require the President to notify the chairperson and ranking member of the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives before entering into any trade agreement that would decrease the amount of duties collected on imports of citrus products to less than the amount necessary to provide the grants authorized by section 1001(d) of the Trade Act of 1974, as added by section 3(a) of this Act.
Effect on other activities
Nothing in this Act restricts the use of any funds for scientific research and technical activities in the United States.
Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund
The Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2102 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund
Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund
is established in the Treasury of the United States a trust fund to be known as
Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund (in this
section referred to as the
Trust Fund), consisting of such
amounts as may be transferred to the Trust Fund under subsection (b)(1) and any
amounts that may be credited to the Trust Fund under subsection (d)(2).
Transfer of amounts
Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer to the Trust Fund amounts that are attributable to the duties collected on articles that are citrus or citrus products classifiable under chapters 8, 20, 21, 22, and 33 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.
The amount transferred to the Trust Fund under paragraph (1) in any fiscal year may not exceed the lesser of—
an amount equal to 1/3 of the amount attributable to the duties received on articles described in paragraph (1); or
Availability of amounts in Trust Fund
Amounts available until expended
Amounts in the Trust Fund shall remain available until expended without further appropriation.
Availability for citrus disease research and development expenditures
Amounts in the Trust Fund shall be available to the Secretary of Agriculture—
for expenditures relating to citrus disease research and development under section 4 of the Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund Act of 2011, including costs relating to contracts or other agreements entered into to carry out citrus disease research and development; and
to cover administrative costs incurred by the Secretary in carrying out the provisions of that Act.
Investment of Trust Fund
The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest such portion of the Trust Fund as is not required to meet current withdrawals in interest-bearing obligations of the United States or in obligations guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the United States. Such obligations may be acquired on original issue at the issue price or by purchase of outstanding obligations at the market price. Any obligation acquired by the Trust Fund may be sold by the Secretary of the Treasury at the market price.
Interest and proceeds from sale or redemption of obligations
The interest on, and the proceeds from the sale or redemption of, any obligations held in the Trust Fund shall be credited to and form a part of the Trust Fund.
Reports to Congress
Not later than January 15, 2013, and each year thereafter until the year after the termination of the Trust Fund, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall submit to Congress a report on the financial condition and the results of the operations of the Trust Fund that includes—
a detailed description of the amounts disbursed from the Trust Fund in the preceding fiscal year and the manner in which those amounts were expended;
an assessment of the financial condition and the operations of the Trust Fund for the current fiscal year; and
an assessment of the amounts available in the Trust Fund for future expenditures.
Remission of surplus funds
The Secretary of the Treasury may remit to the general fund of the Treasury such amounts as the Secretary of Agriculture reports to be in excess of the amounts necessary to meet the purposes of the Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund Act of 2011.
The Trust Fund shall terminate on December 31 of the fifth calendar year that begins after the date of the enactment of the Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund Act of 2011 and all amounts in the Trust Fund on December 31 of that fifth calendar year shall be transferred to the general fund of the Treasury.
Reports required before entering into certain trade agreements
The President shall notify the chairperson and ranking member of the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives not later than 90 days before entering into a trade agreement if the President determines that entering into the trade agreement could result—
in a decrease in the amount of duties collected on articles that are citrus or citrus products classifiable under chapters 8, 20, 21, 22, and 33 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States; and
in a decrease in the amount of funds being transferred into the Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund under section 1001 so that amounts available in the Trust Fund are insufficient to meet the purposes of the Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund Act of 2011.
The table of contents for the Trade Act of 1974 is amended by adding at the end the following:
TITLE X—Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund
Sec. 1001. Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund.
Sec. 1002. Reports required before entering into certain trade agreements.
Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund Advisory Board
The purpose of this section is to establish an orderly procedure and financing mechanism for the development of an effective and coordinated program of research and product development relating to—
scientific research concerning diseases and pests, both domestic and invasive, afflicting the citrus industry; and
support for the dissemination and commercialization of relevant information, techniques, and technologies discovered pursuant to research funded through the Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund established under section 1001 of the Trade Act of 1974, as added by section 3(a) of this Act, or through other research projects intended to solve problems caused by citrus production diseases and invasive pests.
In this section:
The term Board means the Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund Advisory Board established under this section.
The term citrus means edible fruit of the
family Rutaceae, commonly called
The term citrus includes all citrus hybrids and products of citrus hybrids that are produced for commercial purposes in the United States.
The term Department means the Department of Agriculture.
The term person means any individual, group of individuals, firm, partnership, corporation, joint stock company, association, cooperative, or other legal entity.
The term producer means any person that is engaged in the domestic production and commercial sale of citrus in the United States.
The term program means the citrus research and development program authorized under this section.
The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture.
The term Trust Fund means the Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund established under section 1001 of the Trade Act of 1974, as added by section 3(a) of this Act.
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to carry out this section.
Citrus Advisory Board
Establishment and membership
The Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund Advisory Board shall consist of 9 members.
The members of the Board shall be appointed by the Secretary.
Members of the Board represent the interests of the citrus industry and shall not be considered officers or employees of the Federal Government solely due to membership on the Board.
Distribution of appointments
The membership of the Board shall consist of—
5 members who are domestic producers of citrus in Florida;
3 members who are domestic producers of citrus in Arizona or California; and
1 member who is a domestic producer of citrus in Texas.
Prior to making appointments to the Board, the Secretary shall consult with organizations composed primarily of citrus producers to receive advice and recommendations regarding Board membership.
The Secretary shall appoint a new Board member to serve the remainder of a term vacated by a departing Board member.
When filling a vacancy on the Board, the Secretary shall—
appoint a citrus producer from the same State as the Board member being replaced; and
prior to making an appointment, consult with organizations in that State composed primarily of citrus producers to receive advice and recommendations regarding the vacancy.
Except as provided in clause (ii), each term of appointment to the Board shall be for 5 years.
In making initial appointments to the Board, the Secretary shall appoint 1/3 of the members to terms of 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively.
Disqualification from Board service
If a member or alternate of the Board who was appointed as a domestic producer ceases to be a producer in the State from which the member was appointed, or fails to fulfill the duties of the member according to the rules established by the Board under paragraph (4)(A)(ii), the member or alternate shall be disqualified from serving on the Board.
The members of the Board shall serve without compensation, other than travel expenses described in clause (ii).
A member of the Board shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of an agency under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from the home or regular place of business of the member in the performance of the duties of the Board.
The Board may accept, use, and dispose of gifts or donations of services or property.
The Board may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other agencies of the Federal Government.
Notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, United States Code, the Board may accept and use the services of volunteers serving without compensation.
Technical and logistical support
Subject to the availability of funds, the Secretary shall provide to the Board technical and logistical support through contract or other means, including—
procuring the services of experts and consultants in accordance with section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, but at rates for individuals not to exceed the daily equivalent of the highest rate payable under section 5332 of that title; and
entering into contracts with departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Federal Government, State agencies, and private entities for the preparation of reports, surveys, and other activities.
Detail of Federal Government employees
An employee of the Federal Government may be detailed to the Commission on a reimbursable or nonreimbursable basis.
Civil service status
The detail of the employee shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.
General Services Administration
The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Board on a reimbursable basis administrative support and other services for the performance of the duties of the Board.
Other Departments and Agencies
Departments and agencies of the United States may provide to the Board such services, funds, facilities, staff, and other support services as may be appropriate.
General responsibilities of the Board
The regulations promulgated by the Secretary shall define the general responsibilities of the Board, which shall include the responsibilities—
to meet, organize, and select from among the members of the Board a chairperson, other officers, and committees and subcommittees, as the Board determines to be appropriate;
to adopt and amend rules and regulations governing the conduct of the activities of the Board and the performance of the duties of the Board;
to hire such experts and consultants as the Board considers necessary to enable the Board to perform the duties of the Board;
to advise the Secretary on citrus research and development needs;
to propose a research and development agenda and annual budgets for the Trust Fund;
to evaluate and review ongoing research funded by Trust Fund;
to engage in regular consultation and collaboration with the Department and other institutional, governmental, and private actors conducting scientific research into the causes or treatments of citrus diseases and pests, both domestic and invasive, so as to—
maximize the effectiveness of the activities;
hasten the development of useful treatments; and
avoid duplicative and wasteful expenditures; and
to provide the Secretary with such information and advice as the Secretary may request.
Citrus research and development agenda and budgets
The Board shall submit annually to the Secretary a proposed research and development agenda and budget for the Trust Fund, which shall include—
an evaluation of ongoing research and development efforts;
specific recommendations for new citrus research projects;
a plan for the dissemination and commercialization of relevant information, techniques, and technologies discovered pursuant to research funded through the Trust Fund; and
a justification for Trust Fund expenditures.
Affirmative support required
A research and development agenda and budget may not be submitted by the Board to the Secretary without the affirmative support of at least 7 members of the Board.
Not later than 60 days after receiving the proposed research and development agenda and budget from the Board and consulting with the Board, the Secretary shall finalize a citrus research and development agenda and Trust Fund budget.
In finalizing the agenda and budget, the Secretary shall—
due to the proximity of citrus producers to the effects of diseases such as huanglongbing and the quickly evolving nature of scientific understanding of the effect of the diseases on citrus production, give strong deference to the proposed research and development agenda and budget from the Board; and
take into account other public and private citrus-related research and development projects and funding.
Report to Congress
Each year, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and the Committee on Finance of the Senate a report that includes—
the most recent citrus research and development agenda and budget of the Secretary;
an analysis of how, why, and to what extent the agenda and budget finalized by the Secretary differs from the proposal of the Board;
an examination of new developments in the spread and control of citrus diseases and pests;
a discussion of projected research needs; and
a review of the effectiveness of the Trust Fund in achieving the purpose described in subsection (a).
Contracts and agreements
To ensure the efficient use of funds, the Secretary may enter into contracts or agreements with public or private entities for the implementation of a plan or project for citrus research.
Each fiscal year, the Secretary may transfer up to $2,000,000 of amounts in the Trust Fund to the Board for expenses incurred by the Board in carrying out the duties of the Board.
Termination of Board
The Board shall terminate on December 31 of the fifth calendar year that begins after the date of enactment of this Act.