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TMCNet:  Agricultural Marketing Service Amends Cotton Board Rules and Regulations 2014 Amendments for Imports

[June 26, 2014]

Agricultural Marketing Service Amends Cotton Board Rules and Regulations 2014 Amendments for Imports

(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Targeted News Service WASHINGTON, June 26 -- The U.S. Agricultural Marketing Service published the following rule in the Federal Register: Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2014 Amendment) A Rule by the Agricultural Marketing Service on 06/26/2014 Publication Date: Thursday, June 26, 2014 Agencies: Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service Dates: This direct rule is effective August 25, 2014, without further action or notice, unless significant adverse comment is received by July 28, 2014. If significant adverse comment is received, AMS will publish a timely withdrawal of the amendment in the Federal Register.


Effective Date: 08/25/2014 Comments Close: 07/28/2014 Entry Type: Rule Action: Direct Final Rule.

Document Citation: 79 FR 36183 Page: 36183 -36196 (14 pages) CFR: 7 CFR 1205 Agency/Docket Number: Doc. #AMS-CN-13-0100 Document Number: 2014-14988 Shorter URL: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-14988 Action Direct Final Rule.

Summary The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations, decreasing the value assigned to imported cotton for the purposes of calculating supplemental assessments collected for use by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. This amendment is required each year to assure that assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products will be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton.

DATES: This direct rule is effective August 25, 2014, without further action or notice, unless significant adverse comment is received by July 28, 2014. If significant adverse comment is received, AMS will publish a timely withdrawal of the amendment in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted to the addresses specified below. All comments will be made available to the public. Please do not include personally identifiable information (such as name, address, or other contact information) or confidential business information that you do not want publically disclosed. All comments may be posted on the Internet and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines. Comments may be submitted anonymously.

Comments, identified by AMS-CN-13-0100, may be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Please follow the instructions for submitting comments. In addition, comments may be submitted by mail or hand delivery to Cotton Research and Promotion Staff, Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406. Comments should be submitted in triplicate. All comments received will be made available for public inspection at Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406. A copy of this notice may be found at: www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shethir M. Riva, Chief, Research and Promotion Staff, Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406, telephone (540) 361-2726, facsimile (540) 361-1199, or email at Shethir.Riva@ams.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Background Amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Act (7 U.S.C. 2101-2118) (Act) were enacted by Congress under Subtitle G of Title XIX of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (101, 104 stat. 3909, November 28, 1990). These amendments contained two provisions that authorize changes in the funding procedures for the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. These provisions provide for: (1) The assessment of imported cotton and cotton products; and (2) termination of refunds to cotton producers. (Prior the 1990 amendments to the Act, producers could request assessment refunds.) As amended, the Cotton Research and Promotion Order (7 CFR part 1205) (Order) was approved by producers and importers voting in a referendum held July 17-26, 1991, and the amended Order was published in the Federal Register on December 10, 1991, (56 FR 64470). A proposed rule implementing the amended Order was published in the Federal Register on December 17, 1991, (56 FR 65450). Implementing rules were published on July 1 and 2, 1992, (57 FR 29181) and (57 FR 29431), respectively.

This direct final rule would amend the value assigned to imported cotton in the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations (7 CFR section 1205.510(b)(2)) that is used to determine the Cotton Research and Promotion assessment on imported cotton and cotton products. The total value of assessment levied on cotton imports is the sum of two parts. The first part of the assessment is based on the weight of cotton imported--levied at a rate of $1 per bale of cotton, which is equivalent to 500 pounds, or $1 per 226.8 kilograms of cotton. The second part of the import assessment (referred to as the supplemental assessment) is based on the value of imported cotton lint or the cotton contained in imported cotton products--levied at a rate of five-tenths of one percent of the value of domestically produced cotton.

Section 1205.510(b)(2) of the Cotton Research and Promotion Rules and Regulations provides for assigning the calendar year weighted average price received by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton to represent the value of imported cotton. This is so that the assessment on domestically produced cotton and the assessment on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products is the same. The source for the average price statistic is Agricultural Prices, a publication of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the Department of Agriculture. Use of the weighted average price figure in the calculation of supplemental assessments on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products will yield an assessment that is the same as assessments paid on domestically produced cotton.

The current value of imported cotton as published in 2013 in the Federal Register (78 FR 39551) for the purpose of calculating assessments on imported cotton is $0.012876 per kilogram. Using the Average Weighted Priced received by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton for the calendar year 2013, this direct final rule would amend the new value of imported cotton to $0.012728 per kilogram to reflect the price paid by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton during 2013.

An example of the complete assessment formula and how the figures are obtained is as follows: One bale is equal to 500 pounds.

One kilogram equals 2.2046 pounds.

One pound equals 0.453597 kilograms.

One Dollar per Bale Assessment Converted to Kilograms A 500-pound bale equals 226.8 kg. (500 x 0.453597).

$1 per bale assessment equals $0.002000 per pound or $0.2000 cents per pound (1/500) or $0.004409 per kg or $0.4409 cents per kg. (1/226.8).

Supplemental Assessment of 5/10 of One Percent of the Value of the Cotton Converted to Kilograms The 2013 calendar year weighted average price received by producers for Upland cotton is $0.755 per pound or $1.664 per kg. (0.755 x 2.2046).

Five tenths of one percent of the average price equals $0.008319 per kg. (1.664 dz 0.005).

Total Assessment The total assessment per kilogram of raw cotton is obtained by adding the $1 per bale equivalent assessment of $0.004409 per kg. and the supplemental assessment $0.008319 per kg., which equals $0.012728 per kg.

The current assessment on imported cotton is $0.012876 per kilogram of imported cotton. The revised assessment in this direct final rule is $0.012728, a decrease of $0.000148 per kilogram. This decrease reflects the decrease in the average weighted price of Upland cotton received by U.S. farmers during the period January through December 2013.

Import Assessment Table in section 1205.510(b)(3) indicates the total assessment rate ($ per kilogram) due for each Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) number that is subject to assessment. This table must be revised each year to reflect changes in supplemental assessment rates. In this direct final rule, AMS is amending the Import Assessment Table.

AMS believes that these amendments are necessary to assure that assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products are the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton. Accordingly, changes reflected in this rule should be adopted and implemented as soon as possible since it is required by regulation.

[*Federal RegisterVJ 2014-06-26] For more information about Targeted News Service products and services, please contact: Myron Struck, editor, Targeted News Service LLC, Springfield, Va., 703/304-1897; editor@targetednews.com; http://targetednews.com.

TNS 22VistaJ-140626 gv-1166548 (c) 2014 Targeted News Service

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