A RESOLUTION urging the Congress of the United
States to investigate and take action regarding unfair price
differentials in the cost of agricultural inputs with respect to the
American farmers' foreign competition.
Whereas, Soybeans are a staple food crop, which is
essential to the United States and the global food supply;
Whereas, The United States market for soybeans is
estimated to have been $17.7 billion in 1998;
Whereas, The United States Department of Agriculture reported that Indiana farmers exported $543.4 million in soybeans and soybean products during fiscal year 2000, ranking fourth among the states;
Whereas, The General Accounting Office's report revealed
that these cost disparities are due in part to discriminatory
pricing practices of suppliers who provide seed and other
agricultural inputs to South American farmers at costs
significantly below those charged to American farmers;
Whereas, The General Accounting Office's report
suggested that United States patent law and other intellectual
property laws may provide incentives to suppliers of
agricultural inputs to discriminate against the American farmer
in pricing these inputs;
Whereas, United States patent law and other intellectual
property law have led some suppliers of agricultural inputs to
impose on American farmers contract provisions prohibiting
American farmers from using once traditional cost saving
farming practices such as saving seed, a practice that the
suppliers of agricultural inputs are unable or unwilling to
enforce against the foreign competitors of American farmers;
Whereas, The pricing practices of suppliers of agricultural inputs could be extended to agricultural products other than soybeans;
Whereas, This disparate increase of the costs of
agricultural inputs places the American farmer at a severe
disadvantage in competition with foreign farmers; and
Whereas, American farm policy has impaired the
profitability of the American farmer and resulted in decreased
competitiveness with foreign agriculture; Therefore,
with respect to American farmers' foreign competition.
SECTION 2. That Congress should take appropriate action to ensure fair foreign competition with American agricultural products, including, if necessary, modifying patent laws and other intellectual property laws of the United States.
SECTION 3. That the government of the United States should develop and implement a farm policy that provides a safety net for all crop and livestock farmers and ranchers, large and small.
SECTION 4. That the Principal Clerk of the House of Representatives shall transmit a copy of this resolution to the following:
(1) The chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Agriculture of the United States House of Representatives.
(2) The chairman and ranking member of the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee of the United States Senate.
(3) All members of the Indiana congressional delegation.
(4) The secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture.
HR 1546/DI 84