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H.R. 3243 (ih) To authorize the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency ...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3242

   To ensure an abundant and affordable supply of highly nutritious 
 fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops for American consumers 
 and international markets by enhancing the competitiveness of United 
         States-grown specialty crops, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            October 2, 2003

 Mr. Ose (for himself, Mr. Dooley of California, Mr. Acevedo-Vila, Mr. 
 English, Mr. Filner, Mrs. Kelly, Mr. Kolbe, Mr. Larsen of Washington, 
   Mr. McHugh, Mr. Nunes, Mr. Radanovich, Mr. Scott of Georgia, Mr. 
  Thompson of California, Mr. Gallegly, Mr. Cardoza, Mr. DeFazio, Mr. 
Kingston, Mr. Wu, Mr. Hinojosa, and Mr. Farr) introduced the following 
   bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and in 
    addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be 
subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration 
  of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee 
                               concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To ensure an abundant and affordable supply of highly nutritious 
 fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops for American consumers 
 and international markets by enhancing the competitiveness of United 
         States-grown specialty crops, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Specialty Crops 
Competitiveness Act of 2003''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings and purpose.
Sec. 3. Definitions.
                TITLE I--SPECIALTY CROP GRANTS AND LOANS

Sec. 101. Grants to States to enhance competitiveness of specialty 
                            crops.
Sec. 102. Department of Agriculture operating loans.
                          TITLE II--MARKETING

Sec. 201. Implementation of food safety programs under marketing 
                            orders.
Sec. 202. School garden grant pilot program.
Sec. 203. Increase in maximum amount of assistance authorized under 
                            tree assistance program.
Sec. 204. Hunts Point Terminal Market, Bronx, New York.
Sec. 205. Maintenance of Fredericksburg Inspection Training Center.
                     TITLE III--INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Sec. 301. Position in Office of the United States Trade Representative 
                            for specialty crops.
Sec. 302. Foreign market access study and strategy plan.
Sec. 303. Technical assistance for specialty crops.
Sec. 304. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Sec. 305. Supplier credit guarantee program.
Sec. 306. Foreign development assistance.
Sec. 307. Protection of intellectual property rights in plants and 
                            plant-derived material.
                   TITLE IV--SPECIALTY CROP RESEARCH

Sec. 401. Transfer of administration and funding of Office of Pest 
                            Management Policy.
Sec. 402. Additional research initiatives.
Sec. 403. National specialty crops development initiative grant 
                            program.
              TITLE V--INVASIVE PEST AND DISEASE RESPONSE

Sec. 501. Emergency response fund.
Sec. 502. Independent scientific advice for Animal and Plant Health 
                            Inspection Service.
Sec. 503. Food safety initiatives.
                         TITLE VI--CONSERVATION

Sec. 601. Elimination of limitation on adjusted gross income from 
                            eligibility requirements for environmental 
                            quality incentives program.
Sec. 602. Sustainability practices.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) A secure domestic food supply is a national security 
        imperative for the United States.
            (2) A competitive specialty crop industry in the United 
        States is necessary for the production of an abundant, 
        affordable supply of highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and 
        other specialty crops, which are vital to the health and well-
        being of all Americans.
            (3) Increased consumption of specialty crops will provide 
        tremendous health and economic benefits to both consumers and 
        specialty crop growers.
            (4) Specialty crop growers believe that there are numerous 
        areas of Federal agriculture policy that could be improved to 
        promote increased consumption of specialty crops and increase 
        the competitiveness of producers in the efficient production of 
        affordable specialty crops in the United States.
            (5) As the globalization of markets continues, it is 
        becoming increasingly difficult for United States producers to 
        compete against heavily subsidized foreign producers in both 
        the domestic and foreign markets.
            (6) United States specialty crop producers also continue to 
        face serious tariff and non-tariff trade barriers in many 
        export markets.
    (b) Purpose.--It is the purpose of this Act to make necessary 
changes in Federal agriculture policy to accomplish the goals of 
increasing fruit, vegetable, and nut consumption and improving the 
competitiveness of United States specialty crop producers.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) The term ``specialty crop'' means all agricultural 
        crops, except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, 
        peanuts, sugar, and tobacco.
            (2) The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Agriculture.
            (3) The term ``State'' means the several States, the 
        District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the 
        Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, 
        Guam, the Virgin Islands, and any other territory or possession 
        of the United States.
            (4) The term ``State department of agriculture'' means the 
        agency, commission, or department of a State government 
        responsible for protecting and promoting agriculture within the 
        State.

                TITLE I--SPECIALTY CROP GRANTS AND LOANS

SEC. 101. GRANTS TO STATES TO ENHANCE COMPETITIVENESS OF SPECIALTY 
              CROPS.

    (a) Availability and Purpose of Grants.--For each of the Federal 
fiscal years 2004 through 2008, the Secretary of Agriculture shall make 
a grant under this section to each State that submits an annual 
application, at such time and in such form as the Secretary prescribes, 
requesting the grant for that fiscal year. The grant funds shall be 
used by the State department of agriculture solely to enhance the 
competitiveness of specialty crops. Grant funds provided under this 
section shall supplement the expenditure of State funds in support of 
specialty crops and specialty crop producers, and shall not replace 
State funds.
    (b) Grants Based on Value of Production.--Subject to subsection 
(c), the amount of the grant for a fiscal year to a State under this 
section shall bear the same ratio to the total amount made available 
under subsection (f) for that year as the value of specialty crop 
production in the State during the preceding calendar year bears to the 
value of specialty crop production during that calendar year in all 
those States submitting applications for a grant for that fiscal year.
    (c) Minimum Grant Amount.--At a minimum, each eligible State shall 
receive $2,000,000 per year as a grant under this section.
    (d) Grant Expenditure Priorities.--As a condition on the receipt of 
a grant under this section, the State department of agriculture shall 
conduct at least one public hearing, or provide some other method for 
public comment, to obtain the advice and opinion of specialty crop 
producers in the State regarding the disposition of the grant funds. 
The Secretary shall ensure that State agriculture authorities take such 
advice and opinions into account in making their decisions on the 
expenditure of the grant funds.
    (e) Use of Commodity Credit Corporation.--The Secretary shall use 
$470,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation during each 
of the fiscal years 2004 through 2008.

SEC. 102. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OPERATING LOANS.

    (a) Increase in Limits on Operating Loans for Producers of Fruits 
or Vegetables.--Section 313(a)(1) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1943(a)(1)) is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``or, if the borrower is a producer of a 
        specialty crop, $500,000'' after ``$200,000''; and
            (2) by inserting ``or, if the borrower is a producer of a 
        specialty crop, $1,500,000'' after ``$700,000''.

                          TITLE II--MARKETING

SEC. 201. IMPLEMENTATION OF FOOD SAFETY PROGRAMS UNDER MARKETING 
              ORDERS.

    Section 8c(7) of the Agricultural Adjustment Act (7 U.S.C. 
608c(7)), reenacted with amendments by the Agricultural Marketing 
Agreement Act of 1937, is amended--
            (1) by redesignating subparagraphs (C) and (D) as 
        subparagraph (D) and (E), respectively; and
            (2) by inserting after subparagraph (B) the following new 
        subparagraph (C):
    ``(C) In the case of an order relating to a specialty crop, 
authorizing the implementation of food safety programs, such as good 
agricultural and manufacturing practices, ISO 9000 standards, and 
Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points programs, designed to 
enhance the safety of the specialty crop and products derived from 
specialty crops.''.

SEC. 202. SCHOOL GARDEN GRANT PILOT PROGRAM.

    (a) Grants Authorized.--The Secretary of Agriculture may make 
grants to State or local educational agencies and nonprofit 
organizations for the purpose of supporting school garden programs that 
allow children to learn about the importance of specialty crops to a 
healthy diet. The Secretary shall initially target the grants to 
substantial urban centers.
    (b) Consultation.--The Secretary shall develop and carry out the 
grant program in consultation with the State department of agriculture 
of each State and other appropriate institutions in which the grant 
program is conducted.
    (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary $15,000,000 to make grants under this 
section.

SEC. 203. INCREASE IN MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF ASSISTANCE AUTHORIZED UNDER 
              TREE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

    Section 10204(a) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 
2002 (7 U.S.C. 8204(a)) is amended by striking ``$75,000'' and 
inserting ``$150,000''.

SEC. 204. HUNTS POINT TERMINAL MARKET, BRONX, NEW YORK.

    The Secretary of Agriculture shall use up to $20,000,000 of the 
funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide restitution to 
licensed specialty crop shippers for economic losses incurred as a 
result of the preparation of false inspection certificates by graders 
of the Department of Agriculture at Hunts Point Terminal Market, Bronx, 
New York.

SEC. 205. MAINTENANCE OF FREDERICKSBURG INSPECTION TRAINING CENTER.

    There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of 
Agriculture each fiscal year $1,500,000 specifically for the 
maintenance of the Agricultural Marketing Service inspection training 
center in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

                     TITLE III--INTERNATIONAL TRADE

SEC. 301. POSITION IN OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE 
              FOR SPECIALTY CROPS.

    The United States Trade Representative shall establish at least one 
position in the Office of the United States Trade Representative that 
is responsible solely for trade matters related to specialty crops.

SEC. 302. FOREIGN MARKET ACCESS STUDY AND STRATEGY PLAN.

    (a) Study.--The General Accounting Office shall study--
            (1) the extent to which United States specialty crops have 
        or have not benefited from any reductions of foreign trade 
        barriers, as provided for in the Uruguay Round Agreements; and
            (2) the reasons why United States specialty crops have or 
        have not benefited from such trade-barrier reductions.
    (b) Strategy Plan.--The Secretary shall prepare a foreign market 
access strategy plan, on the basis of the foreign market access study, 
to increase exports of specialty crops, including an assessment of the 
foreign trade barriers that are incompatible with the Uruguay Round 
Agreements and a strategy for removing those barriers.
    (c) Report.--Not later than one year after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the General Accounting Office shall submit to 
Congress a report that contains the results of the study and the 
Secretary shall submit to Congress the plan.
    (d) Definition.--For purposes of this section, ``Uruguay Round 
Agreements'' includes any agreement referred to in section 101(d) of 
the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (19 U.S.C. 3511(d)).

SEC. 303. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR SPECIALTY CROPS.

    Section 3205(d) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 
2002 (Public Law 107-171; 7 U.S.C. 5680(d)) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``$2,000,000'' and inserting 
        ``$10,000,000''; and
            (2) by striking ``2002'' and inserting ``2004''.

SEC. 304. ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE.

    The Secretary of Agriculture shall establish, in the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture, the 
Sanitary and Phytosanitary Export Petition Division for the sole 
purpose of processing petitions that are submitted to that service for 

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