Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Agricultural Fair Trade Act of 1985 - Amends the Food for Peace Act of 1966 to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to guarantee intermediate agricultural export loans.
Includes the promotion of agricultural export sales within the uses for which export credit financing and guarantees may be made.
Requires that, to the maximum extent possible, intermediate export credit sales be made to purchasers from countries:
(1) that have previously received assistance under title I of Public Law 480; and
(2) that are unable to use other Department of Agriculture short term credit.
Requires the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to make available specified amounts for each of FY 1986 through 1991 for financing or guaranteeing such intermediate export credit sales.
Authorizes the Secretary to provide agricultural commodities at no cost to U.S. exporters and users and foreign purchasers in order to expand overseas markets for U.S. agricultural commodities and products, including value-added products.
Authorizes supplemental commodity distributions to countries that have utilized receipts from sales of U.S.-supplied commodities to improve their handling, storage, and marketing facilities.
Exempts Department of Agriculture blended credit agricultural sales from cargo preference requirements.
Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should initiate a new round of multilateral trade negotiations with U.S. trading partners to:
(1) strengthen the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT);
(2) improve the dispute settlement procedures of GATT;
(3) bring agricultural trade issues within the purview of GATT; and
(4) clarify the intent of and bring uniformity to the interpretation of Article XVI of GATT. Requires the Secretary to use specified amounts of CCC funds or an equivalent value of CCC-owned commodities in each of FY 1985 through 1988 (for FY 1989 through 1991 requires the Secretary to use necessary amounts) for targeted export assistance for those commodities or products:
(1) which are price-supported surpluses; or
(2) which have been adversely affected by foreign subsidies or marketing practices.
Gives priority to commodities and products that have demonstrated unfair trading practices under GATT. Amends the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 to direct the President, in distributing commodities under such Act, to consider the recipients' nutritional needs and the benefits to the United States from distributing processed and protein-fortified products, including processed milk, plant protein products, and fruit, nut, and vegetable products.
Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Secretary fund export market development programs for value-added farm products and processed foods at higher than FY 1985 levels.
Amends the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to require (presently authorizes) the CCC, to the maximum extent possible and in consultation with the Secretary of State, to barter commodities for strategic and critical materials.
Declares it to be U.S. policy:
(1) to encourage agricultural exports;
(2) and not to limit such exports or abrogate such contracts except for national security reasons and not for reasons of foreign policy.
Directs the Secretary to:
(1) require intradepartmental consultation, as well as consultation with the United States Special Trade Representative, before relaxing or removing any agricultural import restriction; and
(2) establish private sector advisory committees with respect to specific commodities to assist Department of Agriculture personnel in negotiating trade agreements, protocols, or procedures.
Directs the Secretary to:
(1) require annual agricultural attache' reports; and
(2) make such information available to the Congress and to other interested parties.
Directs the Comptroller General to conduct studies and report to the Congress regarding:
(1) Food and Drug Administration agricultural import sanitation standards; and
(2) United States International Trade Commission import relief data requirements.
Directs the Secretary to:
(1) conduct a label of origin study and report to the appropriate congressional committees; and
(2) increase research programs aimed at developing technology to overcome barriers to U.S. agricultural exports.
Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to authorize:
(1) the President to enter into agreements with developing nations to provide agricultural commodities and products to promote free-enterprise agricultural policies; and
(2) the Secretary to provide CCC stocks or CCC-purchased commodities for such purposes.
Exempts such commodities from cargo preference laws.
Requires the President to report annually to the appropriate congressional committees.
Authorizes such program for FY 1986 through 1989.
Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to permit domestic producers of processed agricultural products and their principal raw agricultural commodities to seek specified import relief from the United States International Trade Commission. Authorizes appropriations.
House Democratic Caucus Summary
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