WASHINGTON, May 13, 2015 – The House Agriculture Committee is set to mark up a bill Thursday to reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and roll back some Dodd-Frank regulations that have frustrated agribusiness companies and other traders. 

The Senate Agriculture Committee is holding a hearing on the issue Thursday, with CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad as the lead witness. The committee has not scheduled a markup yet. A House Agriculture subcommittee held two hearings in March.

Members of the House committee have said the new legislation will track closely to the Customer Protection and End User Relief Act that passed the House last year. Among other things, the bill would have exempted agricultural companies and other end users from posting margin, or collateral to cover credit risk on derivatives trades. 

Agricultural traders are telling lawmakers that new requirements are driving up costs, while the futures markets have complained to the committee about cross-border jurisdictional issues.

Compliance costs for end-users have skyrocketed in the past year,” Doug Christie, president of Cargill Cotton, told the House panel in March. “Today, agriculture and energy end-users are faced with thousands of pages of new CFTC rules that no one person can comprehend followed by a multitude of letters issued by the commission to clarify rule language, extend compliance dates, or provide temporary no-action relief.

Grain companies say the cross-border rules are making it difficult for firms to get the best financial terms from banks.


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