House Report 106-154, Part 2 - 106th Congress (1999-2000)
June 14, 1999, As Reported by the International Relations Committee

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House Report 106-154 - SELECTIVE AGRICULTURAL EMBARGOES ACT OF 1999




[House Report 106-154]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



106th Congress                                            Rept. 106-154
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 2

======================================================================



 
              SELECTIVE AGRICULTURAL EMBARGOES ACT OF 1999

                                _______
                                

 June 14, 1999.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


 Mr. Gilman, from the Committee on International Relations, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany H.R. 17]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on International Relations, to whom was 
referred the bill (H.R. 17) to amend the Agricultural Trade Act 
of 1978 to require the President to report to Congress on any 
selective embargo on agricultural commodities, to provide a 
termination date for the embargo, to provide greater assurances 
for contract sanctity, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment 
and recommend that the bill do pass.

                         Background and Purpose

    H.R. 17, the ``Selective Agricultural Embargoes Act of 
1999,'' is intended to address the President's use of his 
authority to impose unilateral economic sanctions that 
selectively emphasize trade in agriculture and that, at the 
same time, permit other forms of commerce with the sanctions 
target. Such sanctions are termed ``selective agricultural 
embargoes.'' The bill establishes a framework whereby the 
President is required to report to Congress on such selective 
agricultural embargoes and establishes a procedure whereby the 
Congress, by passing a joint resolution, may approve or 
disapprove such selective agricultural embargoes.
    The Committee believes that unilateral economic sanctions 
can be an important tool in American foreign policy but 
recognizes that a sanctions regime will seem unfair if one 
sector of the American economy has to bear a disproportionate 
share of the burden of imposing sanctions.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 17 was introduced by Mr. Ewing of Illinois on January 
6, 1999, and was referred to the Committee on Agriculture and 
in addition to the Committee on International Relations. The 
Committee on Agriculture marked up the bill and ordered it 
reported on February 10, 1999, and filed its report, Report 
106-154, Part 1, on May 20, 1999. On May 20, 1999, the Speaker 
extended the referral to the Committee on International 
Relations for a period ending not later than June 11, 1999. On 
June 11, 1999, the Speaker extended the referral for a period 
ending not later than June 14, 1999.
    The Committee on International Relations marked up the bill 
on June 10, 1999. The Full Committee considered the bill and 
agreed to a motion to favorably report the bill to the House of 
Representatives, by voice vote. There were no amendments.

            Record Votes on Amendments and Motion to Report

    Clause (3)(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires that the results of each record vote 
on an amendment or motion to report, together with the names of 
those voting for or against, be printed in the committee 
report. No record votes were taken during the consideration of 
H.R. 17.

                             Other Matters


                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

                Committee on Government Reform Findings

    Clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each committee report to contain a 
summary of the oversight findings and recommendations made by 
the Government Reform Committee pursuant to clause (4)(c)(2) of 
rule X of those Rules. The Committee on International Relations 
has received no such findings or recommendations from the 
Committee on Government Reform.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    In compliance with clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee cites the 
following specific powers granted to the Congress in the 
Constitution as authority for enactment of H.R. 17 as reported 
by the Committee: Article I, section 8, clause 1 (relating to 
providing for the common defense and general welfare of the 
United States); Article I, section 8, clause 3 (relating to the 
regulation of commerce with foreign nations); and Article I, 
section 8, clause 18 (relating to making all laws necessary and 
proper for carrying into execution powers vested by the 
Constitution in the government of the United States).

                        Preemption Clarification

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a committee statement on the extent to 
which the bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state 
or local law. The Committee states that H.R 17 is not intended 
to preempt any state or local law.

New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures, Congressional Budget Office 
             Cost Estimate, and Federal Mandates Statements

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each committee report that accompanies 
a measure providing new budget authority, new spending 
authority, or new credit authority or changing revenues or tax 
expenditures to contain a cost estimate, as required by section 
308(a)(1) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended, 
and, when practicable with respect to estimates of new budget 
authority, a comparison of the estimated funding level for the 
relevant program (or programs) to the appropriate levels under 
current law.
    Clause 3(d) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires committees to include their own cost 
estimates in certain committee reports, which include, when 
practicable, a comparison of the total estimated funding level 
for the relevant program (or programs) with the appropriate 
levels under current law.
    Clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the report of any committee on a 
measure which has been approved by the Committee to include a 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office, pursuant to section 403 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974, if the cost estimate is timely submitted.
    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act requires the 
report of any committee on a bill or joint resolution that 
includes any Federal mandate to include specific information 
about such mandates. The Committee states that H.R. 17 does not 
include any Federal mandate.
    The Committee adopts the cost estimate of the Congressional 
Budget Office as its own submission of any new required 
information with respect to H.R. 17 on new budget authority, 
new spending authority, new credit authority, or an increase or 
decrease in the national debt. It also adopts the estimate of 
Federal mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act. The estimate and report which has been received is 
set out below.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 11, 1999.
Hon. Benjamin A. Gilman,
Chairman, Committee on International Relations,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 17, the Selective 
Agricultural Embargoes Act of 1999.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Craig 
Jagger and Dave Hull.
            Sincerely,
                                         Barry B. Anderson,
                                   (For Dan. L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 17--Selective Agricultural Embargoes Act of 1999

    H.R. 17 would establish procedures for the Congress to 
approve or disapprove agricultural embargoes imposed by the 
President that are not part of an embargo on all exports to a 
particular country or countries. The President would be 
required to report such embargoes to the Congress. Except in 
cases of war or national emergency, H.R. 17 would require that 
an embargo be terminated within a year after the Congress 
approves it or within 100 days of the report if the Congress 
disapproves it. The bill also would apply certain contract 
sanctity requirements that are already in effect for 
agricultural commodities to plant nutrient materials.
    If new embargoes are imposed, the bill could affect direct 
spending because embargoes might end and programs to guarantee 
export loans might resume earlier than under current law. 
However, CBO has no basis for estimating the potential 
budgetary impact of these provisions because we cannot predict 
the likelihood or extent of future embargoes, or of future 
Congressional action to approve or disapprove of such 
embargoes.
    Because the bill could affect direct spending, pay-as-you-
go procedures would apply. H.R. 17 contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets 
of state, local, or tribal governments.
    On February 19, 1999, CBO prepared a similar cost estimate 
for H.R. 17, as ordered reported by the House Committee on 
Agriculture on February 10, 1999. The two versions of the bill 
are identical.
    The CBO contacts for this estimate are Craig Jagger and 
Dave Hull. This estimate was approved by Robert A. Sunshine, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Sec. 1. Short title

    This Act may be cited as the ``Selective Agricultural 
Embargoes Act of 1999.''

Sec. 2. Reporting on selective embargoes

    This section amends the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 by 
adding a new section at the end of title VI. It contains the 
following provisions:
    (a) Report.--The President is required to report to 
Congress within 5 days of taking any action to embargo the 
export of any agricultural commodity which is under an export 
sales contract, if such embargo is not part of an embargo of 
all exports to that country.
    (b) Approval of Embargo.--If within 100 days of receiving 
the President's report a Joint Resolution approving the embargo 
is enacted into law, the embargo shall terminate on the earlier 
of a date chosen by the President, or one year after enactment 
of the Joint Resolution.
    (c) Disapproval of Embargo.--If, on the other hand, within 
100 days of receiving the President's report a Joint Resolution 
disapproving the embargo is enacted into law, the embargo shall 
terminate automatically at the end of that 100 day period.
    (d) Exception.--This section contains the exception that an 
embargo may take effect during any period in which the United 
States is in a state of war declared by Congress or during a 
national emergency as declared by the President.
    (e) Definitions.--This section clarifies that the 
term``agricultural commodity'' includes plant nutrient 
materials. It defines ``under an export sales contract'' to 
mean any export sales contract entered into prior to the time 
the President transmits notice of the proposed embargo to the 
Congress, and ``embargo'' to mean ``any prohibition or 
curtailment.''

Sec. 3. Addition of plant nutrient materials to protection of contract 
        sanctity

    Generally, section 602(c) of the Agricultural Trade Act of 
1978 prevents the President from nullifying export sales 
contracts which are entered into prior to the time the 
President takes any action which would prohibit or curtail the 
export of an agricultural commodity. This section amends 
section 602(c) to clarify that plant nutrient materials are 
included within the definition of ``agricultural commodity'' 
for purposes of receiving this same protection.

                             Other Matters

    The following letter is reprinted here for the interest of 
Members:

                          House of Representatives,
                                  Committee on Agriculture,
                                      Washington, DC, June 9, 1999.
Hon. Ben Gilman,
Chaiman, Committee on International Relations,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Ben: This correspondence is in regard to H.R. 17, the 
``Selective Agricultural Embargoes Act of 1999.'' The Committee 
on Agriculture approved this legislation on February 10, and as 
you are aware the bill was referred additionally to the 
Committee on International Relations. I understand that your 
committee will consider H.R. 17 on June 10, 1999, and that you 
do not anticipate any changes to the bill.
    Subcommittee Chairman Ewing and I are eager for prompt 
floor consideration of H.R. 17. As H.R. 17 relates to an area 
of special concern to the Committee on International Relations, 
I support your determination that changes to the bill which 
would be within the jurisdiction of your committee not be 
allowed to occur without your input and consent.
    If, as expected, your committee reports H.R. 17 without out 
amendment, let me assure you that in the event changes to the 
bill were proposed, either by the Senate or in the unlikely 
event of a conference, I will work with you to ensure that your 
committee's interests are protected. Because of the lengthy 
history of this legislation both in this session and last, I am 
eager to ensure that any concerns your committee may have 
concerning any attempts to modify this or similar legislation 
be thoroughly and cooperatively addressed in the same manner as 
was accomplished between our committees on H.R. 4647 during the 
105th Congress. Should changes be made to H.R. 17 in the 
Committee on International Relations, I will reconsider the 
options available.
    In the event your committee passes H.R. 17 without 
amendment I will seek to have the bill considered on the 
Suspension Calendar on the earliest available date.
    I deeply appreciate your cooperation regarding H.R. 17. If 
I may be of further assistance regarding this matter please do 
not hesitates to contact me.
            Sincerely,
                                           Larry Combest, Chairman.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

             TITLE VI OF THE AGRICULTURAL TRADE ACT OF 1978


                         TITLE VI--REPORTS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 602. EXPORT REPORTING AND CONTRACT SANCTITY.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Contract Sanctity.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
of law, the President shall not prohibit or curtail the export 
of any agricultural commodity (including plant nutrient 
materials) under an export sales contract--
          (1) that is entered into before the President 
        announces an action that would otherwise prohibit or 
        curtail the export of the commodity, and
          (2) the terms of which require delivery of the 
        commodity within 270 days after the date of the 
        suspension of trade is imposed,
except that the President may prohibit or curtail the export of 
any agricultural commodity (including plant nutrient materials) 
during a period for which the President has declared a national 
emergency or for which the Congress has declared war.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 604. REPORTING ON SELECTIVE EMBARGOES.

  (a) Report.--If the President takes any action, pursuant to 
statutory authority, to embargo the export under an export 
sales contract (as defined in subsection (e)) of an 
agricultural commodity to a country that is not part of an 
embargo on all exports to the country, not later than 5 days 
after imposing the embargo, the President shall submit a report 
to Congress that sets forth in detail the reasons for the 
embargo and specifies the proposed period during which the 
embargo will be effective.
  (b) Approval of Embargo.--If a joint resolution approving the 
embargo becomes law during the 100-day period beginning on the 
date of receipt of the report provided for in subsection (a), 
the embargo shall terminate on the earlier of--
          (1) a date determined by the President; or
          (2) the date that is 1 year after the date of 
        enactment of the joint resolution approving the 
        embargo.
  (c) Disapproval of Embargo.--If a joint resolution 
disapproving the embargo becomes law during the 100-day period 
referred to in subsection (b), the embargo shall terminate on 
the expiration of the 100-day period.
  (d) Exception.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this 
section, an embargo may take effect and continue in effect 
during any period in which the United States is in a state of 
war declared by Congress or national emergency, requiring such 
action, declared by the President.
  (e) Definitions.--As used in this section--
          (1) the term ``agricultural commodity'' includes 
        plant nutrient materials;
          (2) the term ``under an export sales contract'' means 
        under an export sales contract entered into before the 
        President has transmitted to Congress notice of the 
        proposed embargo; and
          (3) the term ``embargo'' includes any prohibition or 
        curtailment.