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Rubio Joins Perdue, Colleagues on Bipartisan Effort to Ease Burdens on Agricultural Trucking

Jun 28, 2019 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), David Perdue (R-GA) Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) introduced a bipartisan bill to level the playing field for the transportation of agricultural products. The Agricultural Trucking Relief Act will expand the definition of an “agricultural commodity” to include horticultural and aquacultural products, promote consistency across all federal and state agencies, and ease regulatory burdens on the trucking industry. 
“Florida’s diverse agriculture industry plays a vital role in our state’s economy and in feeding our nation,” Rubio said. “I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the Agricultural Trucking Relief Act, which seeks to provide clarity and fairness for all agricultural commodities that are subject to federal trucking regulations.”
“American truckers play a key role in transporting agricultural goods across the country, so they shouldn’t have to navigate confusing shipping regulations,” Perdue said. “Right now, certain crops, animals, and other farm products that are considered an ‘agricultural commodity’ are treated differently the minute they are put on a truck. That makes no sense. This bipartisan bill will clarify the trucking rules, so agricultural products can be delivered further and faster.”
“Small business operators, especially those shipping products that require immediate delivery—like flowers and trees—should not be in the dark about which shipping regulations apply to them,” Merkley said. “Yet confusingly, some goods that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency as ‘agricultural commodities’ are not eligible for the same transportation exemptions as other agricultural products. This bipartisan legislation is a necessary step forward in clarifying trucking rules, to make sure businesses in every sector of Oregon’s agriculture industry have the same ability to deliver their products while they’re still fresh.” 
“We need this bill to clarify which trucking rules apply to certain agriculture commodities. For example, our catfish producers are held to different standards once their product is loaded onto a truck for shipping. This is an unnecessary federal burden that needs to be fixed,” Hyde-Smith said. 
“I’m proud to support Georgia’s number one industry and ensure that all of Georgia’s agriculture products are treated equally under federal transportation regulations,” Isakson said. “This legislation will provide clarity for Georgia’s farmers, producers and truck drivers.”
“With this legislation, Oklahoma farmers will no longer be forced to comply with some of the burdensome and unnecessary regulations they have had to deal with while transporting their products over the years,” Inhofe said. “Oklahoma is rightfully recognized as and benefits from being one of the nation’s leading transportation hubs—Oklahoma agricultural truckers are a big reason for this. I’ve long fought to reduce burdensome hours of service regulations and I am proud to introduce this today for the Oklahoma agricultural community. I will continue to fight in Congress to make it easier for them to get their jobs done.”