Text: H.Res.604 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

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Engrossed in House (11/16/2002)

[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 604 Engrossed in House (EH)]

                 In the House of Representatives, U.S.,

                      November 15 (legislative day, November 14), 2002.
Whereas since 1997 the price of coffee has declined nearly 70 percent on the 
        world market and has recently reached its lowest level in a century;
Whereas the collapse of coffee prices has resulted in a widespread humanitarian 
        crisis for 25,000,000 coffee growers and for more than 50 developing 
        countries where coffee is a critical source of rural employment and 
        foreign exchange earnings;
Whereas, according to a recent World Bank report, 600,000 permanent and 
        temporary coffee workers in Central America have been left unemployed in 
        the last two years;
Whereas the World Bank has referred to the coffee crisis as ``the silent 
        Mitch'', equating the impact of record-low coffee prices upon Central 
        American countries with the damage done to such countries by Hurricane 
        Mitch in 1998;
Whereas 6 of 14 immigrants who died in the Arizona desert in May 2001 were small 
        coffee farmers from Veracruz, Mexico;
Whereas The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal 
        report that cultivation of illicit crops such as coca and opium poppy is 
        increasing in traditional coffee-growing countries, such as Colombia and 
        Peru, which have been adversely affected by low international coffee 
Whereas the economies of some of the poorest countries in the world, 
        particularly those in Africa, are highly dependent on trade in coffee;
Whereas coffee accounts for approximately 80 percent of export revenues for 
        Burundi, 54 percent of export revenues for Ethiopia, 34 percent of 
        export revenues for Uganda, and 31 percent of export revenues for 
Whereas, according to the Oxfam International Report ``Mugged: Poverty in your 
        Coffee Cup'', in the Dak Lak province of Vietnam, one of the lowest-cost 
        coffee producers in the world, the price farmers receive for their 
        product covers as little as 60 percent of their costs of production and 
        the income derived by the worst-off farmers in that region is 
        categorized as ``pre-starvation'' income;
Whereas on February 1, 2002, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) passed 
        Resolution 407;
Whereas Resolution 407 calls for exporting member countries to observe minimum 
        standards for exportable coffee and provide for the issuance of ICO 
        certificates of origin according to those standards;
Whereas ICO Resolution 407 calls on importing member countries to ``make their 
        best endeavors to support the objectives of the programme'';
Whereas both the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the National 
        Coffee Association (NCA) support ICO Resolution 407 and have publicly 
        advocated for the United States to rejoin the International Coffee 
Whereas on July 24, 2002, the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere of the 
        Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives 
        held a hearing on the coffee crisis in the Western Hemisphere;
Whereas the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has 
        already established coffee sector assistance programs for Colombia, 
        Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, East Timor, El Salvador, Ethiopia, 
        Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Tanzania, 
        and Uganda; and
Whereas the report accompanying the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and 
        Related Programs Appropriations Bill, 2003 (House Report 107-663), 
        highlights the coffee price crisis as a global issue and ``urges USAID 
        to focus its rural development and relief programs on regions severely 
        affected by the coffee crisis, especially in Colombia'': Now, therefore, 
        be it
    Resolved, That--
            (1) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--
                    (A) the United States should adopt a global strategy to 
                respond to the coffee crisis with coordinated activities in 
                Latin America, Africa, and Asia to address the short-term 
                humanitarian needs and long-term rural development needs of 
                countries adversely affected by the collapse of coffee prices; 
                    (B) the President should explore measures to support and 
                complement multilateral efforts to respond to the global coffee 
                crisis; and
            (2) the House of Representatives urges private sector coffee buyers 
        and roasters to work with the United States Government to find a 
        solution to the crisis which is economically, socially, and 
        environmentally sustainable for all interested parties, and that will 
        address the fundamental problem of oversupply in the world coffee 


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