Effective Jan. 4 the Department of Agriculture is withdrawing 16 proposed rules or advance notices of proposed rulemaking that were either published in the Federal Register more than four years ago without subsequent action or determined to no longer be candidates for final action. USDA states that it is taking this action to reduce its regulatory backlog and focus its resources on higher priority action as part of an overall reform strategy to reduce the regulatory burden on the public.

Trade-related proposed rules being withdrawn include the following.

- making certain changes to the Quality Samples Program, which is designed to encourage the development and expansion of export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities by assisting U.S. entities in providing commodity samples to potential foreign importers (published August 2006)

- adding weekly reporting for distillers dried grain to the Export Sales Reporting Program, which requires U.S. exporters to report sales of certain commodities to USDA daily or weekly (published March 2013)

- updating the regulations setting forth forfeiture procedures with respect to plants or plant products seized under the authority of the Endangered Species Act or the Lacey Act (published May 2013)

- establishing a hardwood lumber and hardwood plywood promotion, research, and information order (published November 2013)

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