July 19,2001

Grassley Seeks Fair Trade Treatment, Compensation for Farmers

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley, a leader of the Committee on Finance, today urged
passage of a bipartisan bill he has co-sponsored to make farmers eligible for assistance through a
federal trade law that compensates workers when they are hurt by international trade.

“This effort is bipartisan. And its goal is to provide fair treatment to farmers under the trade
act,” Grassley said. “Right now, when imports cause layoffs in manufacturing industries, workers
are eligible for compensation, but when imports adversely affect the ag sector, farmers who lose
income receive no compensation.”

Last month, Grassley and Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota re-introduced their bill, the
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers Act (S. 1100) to amend the Trade Act of 1974 to improve
assistance for farmers. Grassley urged his colleagues to make the bill part of the federal trade
adjustment assistance program. Grassley’s comments came during a Finance Committee hearing
on trade adjustment assistance. The Grassley-Conrad bill:

< authorizes a group of agricultural commodity producers to petition the Secretary of
Agriculture for a certification of eligibility to apply for trade adjustment assistance;

< requires the Secretary to determine whether the petitioning group meets certain requirements
and, if so, to issue such a certification;

< requires the International Trade Commission to notify the Secretary immediately whenever
it begins an investigation into whether an agricultural commodity is being imported into the
United States in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause or threat of serious
injury to a domestic industry producing an agricultural commodity like or directly
competitive with the imported agricultural commodity;

< directs the Secretary to provide agricultural commodity producers with information about
trade adjustment assistance petition and application procedures, benefit allowances, training,
and other employment services;

< sets forth certain eligibility requirements for the payment of trade adjustment assistance to
adversely affected agricultural commodity producers;

< limits to $10,000 the maximum annual amount of cash benefits a producer may receive;

< provides for the repayment and recovery of overpayments of trade adjustment assistance
made to such producers due to fraud;

< and sets forth penalties for such fraud.

“Our bill would make sure that farmers recover a portion of the income lost due to import
competition,” Grassley said. “In fact, when President John F. Kennedy first envisioned the trade
adjustment assistance program he said it should help farmers. The unfortunate reality is that family
farmers never really qualify for the program. Our bill would make sure they do.”