House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-TX) announced that the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture on June 9 will publicly examine the effect of sanctions on U.S. agriculture and assess the trade opportunities developed as a result of the Clinton Administration's action today that restores the full potential for sales overseas by American farmers and ranchers.
USDA Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman and Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, State Department Under Secretary for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, have confirmed their appearances at the House Agriculture Committee hearing.
"This is a significant opportunity for American farmers and ranchers to do what they do best — sell high-quality agriculture goods around the world. On June 9, our hearing may well determine whether today's action has been meaningful in setting up a process that will make these sales. Trade sanctions aim for the dictators and generals, but hurt American farmers and ranchers who work all season to sell food to starving people," said Combest. "Foreign policy should not use food as a weapon that backfires on the American producer, cutting off markets and destroying our reputation as a reliable supplier."
Chairman Combest welcomes today's announcement lifting economic sanctions for agriculture to allow sales of agriculture products to several countries in markets closed to American producers.
On March 19, Chairman Combest called for the president to use his administrative authority to modify agricultural sanctions placed on Iran, Libya, North Korea and Sudan. Potential sales of 1 million tons of corn and 1 million tons of wheat may be freed for U.S. sale to those nations as a result of today's announcement, according to the USDA.