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106th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 106-36
AMENDMENTS TO THE EXPORT APPLE AND PEAR ACT
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.
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
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.
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
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
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:
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, February 19, 1999.
Hon. Larry Combest,
Chairman, Committee on Agriculture,
House of Representatives,
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
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.
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
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
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''.