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SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 11
INTRODUCED BY G. JERGESON, R. JABS, T. BECK, G. DEVLIN, P. EKEGREN, M. HALLIGAN,
R. HOLDEN, W. MCNUTT, K. MESAROS, L. NELSON, J. TESTER
BY REQUEST OF THE SENATE AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK, AND IRRIGATION
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA URGING AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CAUSES OF ONGOING DEPRESSED MARKET PRICES FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS; AND URGING THE INITIATION OF ACTIONS THAT WILL STABILIZE THE NATION'S FOOD PRODUCERS, MAIN STREET BUSINESSES, AND RURAL AMERICA AS A WHOLE.
WHEREAS, an economic emergency has been created by ongoing depressed prices in the marketplace for agricultural products; and
WHEREAS, an investigation into the causes of the depressed prices is warranted; and
WHEREAS, actions should be initiated to stabilize the nation's food producers, main street businesses, and rural America as a whole.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That a full investigation be undertaken into the causes of ongoing depressed prices in the marketplace for agricultural products, including a full examination of market competitiveness in livestock and crops and a re-examination of trade agreements.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that actions be initiated that will stabilize the nation's food producers, main street businesses, and rural America as a whole, including:
(1) emergency price supports and a safety net system for all agricultural products, to be lifted only when international and domestic markets are reformed in a way that renders them open, public, and competitive and when domestic prices for agricultural products are determined to be above the cost of production as calculated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture;
(2) fair compensation for lost agricultural income, as called for under trade compensation and assistance programs of the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 and the Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (FAIR Act), for all existing and future sanctions;
(3) further support for risk management tools and education, such as the pilot projects for forward contracts and the use of hedges and options, and development and funding of a more effective yield and income insurance program by Congress and the administration;
(4) vigorous antitrust investigations into the concentration of ownership in meat packing, grain handling, and retail trade, including a complete investigation of the possible effects of the proposed Cargill-Continental merger;
(5) expansion and development of new international markets for agricultural products and ensuring that agricultural producers have advisory status at any agricultural trade negotiations, with a priority on price transparency of the Canadian Wheat Board;
(6) reductions of regulations and taxes to enable farmers and ranchers to be more profitable;
(7) country of origin labeling;
(8) limiting use of the U.S. Department of Agriculture stamp to products produced in the United States;
(9) mandatory price reporting of livestock and grain;
(10) moving responsibility for enforcement of the federal Packers and Stockyards Act from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the U.S. Department of Justice;
(11) inspections of imported agricultural products to ensure that imported products meet standards equivalent to United States standards for food safety, environmental protection, and worker protection; and
(12) ensuring that farm and ranch producers are represented at the 1999 World Trade Organization.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State send a copy of this resolution to the members of the Montana Congressional Delegation.
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Latest Version of SJ 11 (SJ0011.ENR)
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