Congress passes bill to renew Grain Standards Act provisions

Congress recently reauthorized provisions of the U.S. Grain Standards Act (USGSA), such as Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) collection of fees for export-inspection and weighing services, renewal of the USGSA Advisory Committee, and requiring the FGIS to provide export inspections during any suspension of services by a delegated state inspection agency.

The latter was a priority for the American Soybean Association (ASA) and other farm groups after the withdrawal of services at the Port of Vancouver by the Washington State Department of Agriculture in July 2014 and the refusal by FGIS to take over until a lockout of dock workers at the port ended a month later.

The disruption in exports was costly for exporters and farmers, and undermined the reputation of the U.S. as a reliable supplier of grain and oilseeds to overseas customers.

The ASA, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) asked the Senate Agriculture Committee for a guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that the agriculture secretary has the authority to hire private security personnel to ensure the safety of FGIS inspectors, which had been an issue during the Port of Vancouver lockout.

President Obama was expected to sign the bill before the USGSA provisions expire.

Organizations in this story

American Soybean Association 600 Pennsylvania Ave., SE Washington, DC - 20003

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