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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     106-36




 March 2, 1999.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed


Mr. Combest, from the Committee on Agriculture, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 609]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Agriculture, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 609) to amend the Export Apple and Pear Act to limit the 
applicability of the Act to apples, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that 
the bill do pass.

                           Brief Explanation

    H.R. 609 amends the Export Apple and Pear Act of June 10, 
1933, to limit the applicability of the Act to apples and 
renames the law, the ``Export Apple Act''. The bill removes 
``pears'' from the definition and removes all other references 
to ``pears'' from the Act.

                            Purpose and Need

    The Export Apple and Pear Act, enacted on June 10, 1933, 
requires that apples and pears meet certain standards prior to 
export in order to ensure only high quality U.S. fruit moves in 
foreign commerce. H.R. 609 amends that Act and thereby provides 
the means to increase exports of pears.
    Pears exported from the United States are grown almost 
exclusively in Oregon, California and Washington and the pear 
organizations in these states support this bill. U.S. pear 
producers and shippers recommended that pears be dropped from 
the Act so that they can increase the volume of pear exports.
    H.R. 609 eliminates pears from the Act, thereby allowing 
U.S. exporters greater flexibility in the changing 
international marketplace and the opportunity to increase 
exports. Because of the 1933 Act, U.S. producers and exporters 
of pears have been unable to meet the demand for lower grade 
pears in countries without receiving a waiver from the Act from 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The pear industry on 
two occasions over the last decade petitioned and received a 
waiver from USDA to sell non-U.S. Number One and Fancy grade 
winter pears in the emerging markets of Central and South 
America and Russia. Past experience indicates that when these 
markets can afford it, they buy higher-grade pears. Removal of 
pears from the Act will allow U.S. producers to get a foothold 
in emerging markets.
    The USDA has advised the Committee that mandatory federal 
quality standards for pears are no longer needed to assure the 
high quality of exported pears. The USDA supports enactment of 
H.R. 609.
    As world economies improve and barriers to trade continue 
to decrease, new market opportunities for fresh pears arise. In 
order to provide the flexibility to meet the requirements of 
these new opportunities without having to seek new exemptions, 
pears are removed from the 1933 Export Apple and Pear Act.


    Subsection (a) renames the Act of June 10, 1933 (7 U.S.C. 
581 et seq.; commonly known as the Export Apple and Pear Act), 
as the ``Export Apple Act.''
    Subsection (b) removes ``pears'' from the definition.
    Subsection (c) removes all other references to ``pears'' 
from the Act.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee on Agriculture met, pursuant to notice and 
with a quorum present, on February 10, 1999, to consider H.R. 
609 and other pending business. Chairman Combest recognized Mr. 
Walden, author of the bill for a brief explanation.
    Discussion occurred and it was noted by Chairman Combest 
that the Secretary of Agriculture sent a letter in support of 
the bill.
    Mr. Stenholm was then recognized and expressed his support 
for the bill.
    After a brief discussion on the bill, Mr. Stenholm moved 
that the bill, H.R. 609, be adopted and favorably reported to 
the House with a recommendation that it do pass. Mr. Stenholm's 
motion was agreed to by a voice vote of the Committee with a 
majority quorum being present.
    The meeting was then adjourned, subject to the call of the 

                   Reporting the Bill-Rollcall Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of 
Representatives, H.R. 609 was reported by voice vote with a 
majority quorum present. There was no request for a recorded 

                        Administration Position

    The views of the Administration on H.R. 609 are set forth 
in the following letter to the Chairman of the Committee on 
                         Department of Agriculture,
                                   Office of the Secretary,
                                  Washington, DC, February 9, 1999.
Hon. Larry Combest,
Chairman, Committee on Agriculture,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Larry: The Department of Agriculture (USDA) supports 
H.R. 609, a bill ``To amend the Export Apple and Pear Act (Act) 
to limit the applicability of the Act to apples''.
    Because private contractual arrangements between buyers and 
sellers increasingly are controlling the quality of U.S. pear 
exports, USDA believes mandatory Federal quality standards, as 
currently established under the Act, are no longer needed to 
assure the high quality of exported pears. The Act is further 
outdated because its regulations do not reflect seasonal 
changes in the quality of the U.S. pear crop and do not provide 
the flexibility needed in the changing international market. 
USDA believes the U.S. pear industry needs greater flexibility 
than the Act allows to respond to international markets, a goal 
that H.R. 609 will help the industry attain.
    Minimum requirements would continue under existing State 
regulations if H.R. 609 is enacted. For example, Washington 
regulates minimum grade requirements and both Oregon and 
California have minimum requirements for maturity and grade 
defects. In addition, two Federal marketing orders for pears 
produced in Oregon and Washington offer the opportunity for 
pear producers and handlers to establish minimum requirements 
for pear exports.
    Enactment of H.R. 609 would not result in increased USDA 
    The Office of Management and Budget advises that there is 
no objection to the presentation of this report from the 
standpoint of the Administration's program.
                                           Dan Glickman, Secretary.

           Budget Act Compliance (Sections 308, 402, and 423)

    The provisions of clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 308(a)(1) of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (relating to estimates of new 
budget authority, new spending authority, new credit authority, 
or increased or decreased revenues or tax expenditures) are not 
considered applicable. The estimate and comparison required to 
be prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and sections 402 and 423 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974 submitted to the Committee prior to the 
filing of this report are as follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, February 19, 1999.
Hon. Larry Combest,
Chairman, Committee on Agriculture,
House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 609, a bill to 
amend the Export Apple and Pear Act to limit the applicability 
of the act to apples.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Craig Jagger.
                                          Dan L. Crippen, Director.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

H.R. 609--A bill to amend the Export Apple and Pear Act to limit the 
        applicability of the act to apples

    H.R. 609 would amend the Export Apple and Pear Act to 
exclude pears and rename it the Export Apple Act. CBO estimates 
that enacting H.R. 609 would have no significant budgetary 
    Under current law, the Secretary of Agriculture must 
establish quality standards for exported apples and pears. The 
Secretary also is responsible for overseeing mandatory 
inspections and certification of apples and pears prior to 
export. Under H.R. 609, these requirements would no longer 
apply to pears but would continue for apples.
    The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture is responsible for carrying out 
current requirements. States collect inspection and 
certification fees from exporters and pay a small percentage of 
the fees to AMS for overseeing inspections. AMS indicates that 
collections of fees for pear inspections are small. While H.R. 
609 would stop mandatory federal inspections of pears for 
exports, it is likely that voluntary federal inspections and 
mandatory or voluntary state inspections would continue. The 
costs incurred and fees collected by AMS would probably not 
change significantly. Because H.R. 609 could affect direct 
spending, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply, but CBO 
estimates that any such impact would be negligible for each 
    H.R. 609 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would have no significant impact on the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact is Craig Jagger. This estimate was 
approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee report incorporates the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to sections 402 and 423 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the 
Constitutional authority for this legislation in Article I, 
clause 8, section 18, that grants Congress the power to make 
all laws necessary and proper for carrying out the powers 
vested by Congress in the Government of the United States or in 
any department or officer thereof.

                          Oversight Statement

    No summary of oversight findings and recommendations made 
by the Committee on Government Reform, as provided for in 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, was available to the Committee with reference 
to the subject matter specifically addressed by H.R. 609.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee on Agriculture's 
oversight findings and recommendations are reflected in the 
body of this report.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committee within the meaning of section 5(b) of 
the Federal Advisory Committee Act was created by this 

                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 (Public Law 

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopted as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (Public Law 104-4).

         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 (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                          ACT OF JUNE 10, 1933

CHAP. 59.--An Act To promote the foreign trade of the United States in 
 apples and/or pears, to protect the reputation of American-grown apples 
 and pears in foreign markets, to prevent deception or misrepresentation 
 as to the quality of such products moving in foreign commerce, to 
 provide for the commercial inspection of such products entering such 
 commerce, and for other purposes.

  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in congress assembled, That it 
shall be unlawful for any person to ship or offer for shipment 
or for any carrier, or any steamship company, or any person to 
transport or receive for transportation to any foreign 
destination, except as provided in this Act, any apples [and/or 
pears] in packages which are not accompanied by a certificate 
issued under authority of the Secretary of Agriculture showing 
that such apples [or pears] are of a Federal or State grade 
which meets the minimum of quality established by the Secretary 
for shipment in export. The Secretary is authorized to 
prescribe, by regulations, the requirements, other than those 
of grade, which the fruit must meet before certificates are 
issued. The Secretary shall provide opportunity, by public 
hearing or otherwise, for interested persons to examine and 
make recommendation with respect to any standard of export 
proposed to be established or designated, or regulation 
prescribed, by the Secretary for the purposes of this Act.
  Sec. 2. The Secretary shall give reasonable notice through 
one or more trade papers of the effective date of standards of 
export established or designated by him under this Act: 
Provided, That any apples [or pears] may be certified and 
shipped for export in fulfillment of any contract made within 
six months prior to the date of such shipment if the terms of 
such contract were in accordance with the grades and 
regulations of the Secretary in effect at the time the contract 
was made.
  Sec. 3. Where the government of the country to which the 
shipment is to be made has standards or requirements as to 
condition of apples [or pears] the Secretary may in addition to 
inspection and certification for compliance with the standards 
established, or designated hereunder inspect and certify for 
determination as to compliance with the standards or 
requirements of such foreign government and may provide for 
special certificates in such cases.
  Sec. 4. Apples [or pears] in less than carload lots as 
defined by the Secretary may, in his discretion, be shipped to 
any foreign country without complying with the provisions of 
this Act.
  Sec. 5. For inspecting and certifying the grade, quality, 
and/or condition of apples [and/or pears] the Secretary shall 
cause to be collected a reasonable fee which shall as nearly as 
may be cover the cost of the service rendered: Provided, That 
when cooperative arrangements satisfactory to the Secretary, or 
his designated representative, for carrying out the purposes of 
this Act cannot be made the fees collected hereunder in such 
cases shall be available until expended to defray the cost of 
the service rendered, and in such cases the limitations on the 
amounts expended for the purchase and maintenance of motor-
propelled passenger-carrying vehicles shall not be applicable: 
Provided further, That certificates issued by the authorized 
agents of the United States Department of Agriculture shall be 
received in all courts of the United States as prima facie 
evidence of the truth of the statements therein contained.
  Sec. 6. After opportunity for hearing the Secretary is 
authorized to refuse the issuance of certificates under this 
Act for periods not exceeding ninety days to any person who 
ships or offers for shipment any apples [and/or pears] in 
foreign commerce in violation of any of the provisions of this 
Act. Any Person or any common carrier or any transportation 
agency knowingly violating any of the provisions of this Act 
shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $10,000 by a 
court of competent jurisdiction.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  Sec. 9. That when used in this Act--
  (1)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(4) The term ``apples and/or pears'' means fresh whole 
apples or pears, whether or not they have been in storage.]
  (4) The term ``apples'' means fresh whole apples, whether or 
not the apples have been in storage.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  Sec. 11. This Act may be cited as the ``Export Apple Act''.