WASHINGTON, D.C. – AmericanHort president and CEO Ken Fisher released the following statement after the introduction of S. 2025, the Agricultural Trucking Relief Act, by Sens. Perdue (R-GA) and Merkley (D-OR).
“We applaud Senators Perdue and Merkley for introducing this bill to finally create a single, concrete definition of agricultural commodities that reflects the consensus of many government agencies and the needs of the entire agricultural industry,” Fisher says. “While horticultural products are treated as ‘agriculture’ when they are grown and when they are sold, transportation of our products is hampered when drivers and inspectors alike are forced to attempt to interpret the current ambiguous definition. This bill would correct that problem and place all agricultural goods, including horticultural products, on a level playing field and ensure prompt delivery to the consumer.”
Background: S. 2025 is a companion bill to H.R. 1673, introduced in the House earlier this year by Rep. Austin Scott (GA-08). Current law does not specifically define which products are classified as ‘agricultural commodities’ relating to transportation policy and regulatory compliance, leading to fragmented regulations across agencies. S. 2025 would clearly define agricultural commodities by aligning the definition used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) with those used by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In addition to providing government-wide certainty to business, this legislation will ensure horticultural products are treated fairly when enforcing Hours of Service (HOS) rules and Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations.
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