Editor’s Note: A letter from the President & CEO of the Agricultural Retailers Association to House Committee on Ways & Means is attached here. Below is an excerpt from the letter.
From: Agricultural Retailers Association
It is important for Congress to recognize the vital role of agricultural businesses in making our country the leading agricultural producer and exporter in the world. We need to support their efforts to help safeguard our national security by appropriately securing agricultural pesticides and fertilizers. The Agricultural Chemicals Security Credit is a fiscally responsible, common-sense proposal that enables eligible agricultural businesses to make the necessary security investments to better protect these facilities.
Since the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, both Congress and the Administration have made the security of our nation a top priority. Numerous security mandates have been placed on agricultural businesses over the past several years such as the USA Patriot Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-56), the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-295) and the new Department of Homeland Security’s Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) regulations. All of these and other federal security mandates along with higher energy and transportation costs have added a substantial increase in production costs currently faced by American agriculture that cannot be recovered through product sales as these expenses do not improve productivity. This provision will provide much-needed financial assistance for agricultural retailers, distributors, aerial applicators and other eligible agricultural businesses to improve on-site security of their pesticide and fertilizer storage facilities and continue to help contribute to the stability of many rural American economies.