King Introduces Protect Interstate Commerce Act
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Steve King released the following statement after introducing the Protect Interstate Commerce Act (PICA). Last Congress, PICA was adopted by voice vote in the House Agriculture Committee to be included in the 2014 Farm Bill.
“Open and unrestricted commerce between the states is a vital component for a thriving economy,” said King. “The Constitution gives Congress the power to ‘regulate commerce among the several states’. The Constitution explicitly grants Congress the authority to regulate trade. My legislation would prevent states from enacting laws that would prohibit trade of an agricultural product from other states based on its means of production.
On January 1, 2015 California began a state-wide ban on the sale of eggs based on the facilities in which the hens live. Just within the last month in anticipation of the new law coming into effect, California experienced a 79% increase in egg prices. Outside of California, the Midwest has seen a 35% increase since January 2014 in anticipation of these new requirements. If my legislation is enacted, it would not affect the fact that eggs are already regulated by the Federal Egg Inspection Act, and my legislation would allow their sale even if they aren't produced by a specific state's standards. This issue goes far beyond the California egg issue. Restricting interstate trade would create a great deal of confusion and increased costs to manufacturers. This would create a patchwork quilt of conflicting state regulations erected for trade protectionism reasons.
My legislation would not prevent a state from implementing its own labeling policies on products. Additionally, states would still be able to set standards of production within their own borders.
Preventing the sale of a product based on its means of production prohibits the consumer from choosing to purchase the products they want. My legislation will allow consumers to make their own choices about the products they buy, without the government interfering in that choice. It is important that no state imposes any regulation on another state that would directly violate the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, and this bill preserves the rights of states to regulate the production of agriculture products within their own state. I am grateful for the bipartisan support my bill has received, and urge this Congress to bring it to the Floor for a vote.”
To view the original bill text, click here.