Press Releases

Chairman Conaway Rejects USDA Legal Analysis, Presses for Action

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Washington, February 5, 2016 | comments
Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) sent a written reply to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s February 3 letter in which the Secretary denied the request of 100 members of Congress who sent a bicameral, bipartisan letter urging the Secretary to take urgent action to stave off a farm financial crisis in the cotton belt. The members of Congress urged the Secretary to use his legal authority to designate cottonseed as an eligible oilseed for purposes of the Farm Bill. Upon sending a written reply to the Secretary, which can be read in full here, Chairman Conaway issued the following statement:

“I am deeply disappointed in the Secretary’s decision because it jeopardizes the livelihoods of thousands of hard working farm families and the countless communities that depend on them. These farm families and communities are left alone to face the predatory foreign trade practices of China, India, and other countries that are, according to the analysis of our own government, wreaking havoc on global cotton markets through heavy subsidies, tariffs, and non-tariff trade barriers. Given the increasingly dire conditions farm families face in the cotton belt and the grave consequences of failing to act, I have little choice but to continue to press for the same kind of responsible, urgent, and meaningful response that has always been taken to address emergencies impacting producers of other commodities.”
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