The Ag Minute: Well-Functioning Markets at the Heart of CFTC Reauthorization Efforts

Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184

WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina discusses the angst and uncertainty farmers, ranchers, and businesses all across the country are enduring because of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) haphazard implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Title VII of the Act deals with derivatives, which are tools that allow businesses to manage everyday risks. Consequently, the Dodd-Frank Act affects every segment of the economy. Because the CFTC's statutory authorization expires at the end of the fiscal year, the House Agriculture Committee will begin a series of hearings in advance of writing legislation to reauthorize the CFTC.

Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.

"Hi, This is Congressman Richard Hudson from the Eighth District of North Carolina.

"Nearly three years after the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law, regulators are nowhere close to fully implementing it. 

"As a result, farmers, ranchers, and businesses all across the country are faced with tremendous uncertainty when it comes to how to manage risk and run their operations. 

"From the start, the CFTC’s process for writing regulations has been erratic and confusing.   It took over a year before the agency could tell businesses who a swap dealer is; it took even longer to explain what a swap is.

"But, it’s only gotten worse as the CFTC has missed deadlines for implementation, and as a result has issued numerous last minute 'no-action' letters essentially telling businesses that compliance with certain regulations is not necessary now, but may or may not be necessary in the future.  The fact that the CFTC has issued more 'no-action' letters than finalized rules should not be lost on anyone.

"The reality is businesses that were not at the heart of the financial crisis are being treated like they were.  These are our food producers, our manufacturers, our technology companies, and our public power companies.  These are the folks who keep the economy running by producing goods and services, and creating jobs. 

"The House Agriculture Committee will be holding a hearing series on the reauthorization of the CFTC.  In light of the tremendous uncertainty in the marketplace, it is important to review the CFTC’s operations, examine the important issues facing the futures and swaps markets, and evaluate how regulations are impacting end-users and the agricultural community." 

The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.