[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 171 (Thursday, September 3, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 53265-53266]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-21865]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 171 / Thursday, September 3, 2015 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 53265]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 1205

[Doc. # AMS-CN-15-0013]


Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental 
Assessment on Imports (2015 Amendments)

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: AMS proposes to amend the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations 
by decreasing the value assigned to imported cotton for calculating 
supplemental assessments collected for use by the Cotton Research and 
Promotion Program. The amendment is required each year to ensure that 
assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of 
imported products will be the same as those paid on domestically 
produced cotton.
    AMS is publishing this amendment as a direct final rule without 
prior proposal because the action is contemplated by statute and 
required by regulation and the agency anticipates no significant 
adverse comment. AMS has explained its reasons in the preamble of the 
direct final rule. If AMS receives no significant adverse comment 
during the comment period, no further action on this proposed rule will 
be taken. If, however, AMS receives significant adverse comment, AMS 
will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. In 
that case, AMS will address all public comments in a subsequent final 
rule based on this proposed rule. AMS will not institute a second 
comment period on this rule. Any parties interested in commenting must 
do so during this comment period. This proposed rule is a companion 
document to the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) direct final 
rule (published today in the ``Rules and Regulations'' section of the 
Federal Register).

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 5, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted to the addresses specified 
below. All comments will be made available to the public. Please do not 
include any 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-15-0013, 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 document 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: As noted above, in the ``Rules and 
Regulations'' section of today's Federal Register, the direct final 
rule being published would amend the value assigned to imported cotton 
in the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations (7 CFR 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 2014 in the 
Federal Register (79 FR 36183) for the purpose of calculating 
assessments on imported cotton is $0.012728 per kilogram. Using the 
Average Weighted Price received by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton for 
the calendar year 2014, the direct final rule would amend the new value 
of imported cotton to $0.012013 per kilogram to reflect the price paid 
by U.S. farmers for Upland cotton during 2014.
    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 2014 calendar year weighted average price received by producers 
for

[[Page 53266]]

Upland cotton is $0.690 per pound or $1.521 per kg. ($0.690 x 2.2046).
    Five tenths of one percent of the average price equals $0.007604 
per kg. (1.521 x 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 $0.007604 per kg., which equals $0.012013 
per kg.
    The current assessment on imported cotton is $0.012728 per kilogram 
of imported cotton. The revised assessment in this direct final rule is 
$0.012013, a decrease of $0.000715 per kilogram. This decrease reflects 
the decrease in the average weighted price of Upland cotton received by 
U.S. Farmers during the period January through December 2014.
    Import Assessment Table in section 1205.510(b)(3) indicates the 
total assessment rate ($ per kilogram) due for each Harmonized Tariff 
Schedule number that is subject to assessment. This table must be 
revised each year to reflect changes in supplemental assessment rates 
and any changes to the HTS numbers. In this direct final rule, AMS is 
amending the Import Assessment Table.
    AMS believes that these amendments are necessary to ensure 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.
    The amendment proposed by this document is the same as the 
amendment contained in the direct final rule. Please refer to the 
preamble and regulatory text of the direct final rule for further 
information and the actual text of the amendment. Statutory review and 
Executive Orders for this proposed rule can be found in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the direct final rule.
    A 30-day comment period is provided to comment on the changes to 
the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations proposed herein. This period is 
deemed appropriate because this rule would decrease the assessments 
paid by importers under the Cotton Research and Promotion Order. An 
amendment is required to adjust the assessments collected on imported 
cotton and the cotton content of imported products to be the same as 
those paid on domestically produced cotton. Accordingly, the change in 
this rule, if adopted, should be implemented as soon as possible.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 2101-2118.

    Dated: August 28, 2015.
Rex A. Barnes,
Associate Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-21865 Filed 9-2-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-02-P