Opening Statements

Opening Statement: Chairman K. Michael Conaway CEEC Subcommittee Hearing: Reauthorizing the CFTC: End-User Views

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Washington, DC, March 24, 2015 | comments

Chairman Austin Scott has been an important voice of common sense on our Committee for the past four years and I am grateful that he has agreed to chair this subcommittee.  With his previous experience in the financial services industry I know he will be an asset to this committee during reauthorization and during our oversight hearings in the coming year. I am equally pleased that David Scott is back to serve as our lead Democrat on the subcommittee.  He has a deep knowledge of these issues and I know firsthand that he makes a great partner on these financial services issues.

One hundred and fifty years ago, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange introduced the first exchange traded futures contract. At the time, these new financial instruments revolutionized the business of farming.  Today, derivatives have expanded into every financial market and have revolutionized modern business, as well.  Yet, since the financial collapse in 2008, some have questioned the value of these financial instruments which they have derided as overly complex and being too inherently risky to be used safely.  I respectfully disagree.

This Committee has spent considerable time hearing from end-users, market infrastructure managers, CFTC Commissioners, and others.  Time and time again, we have heard testimony about the importance of these financial tools and the tremendous value they have to those who use them.  As we’ve heard from many witnesses, derivatives allow businesses to reduce the risks they cannot control, so they can focus on serving their customers. Ensuring that our nation’s derivatives markets work for those who have risks to hedge is no small task. 

But, I believe that the chairman and the ranking member are well suited to lead the Committee’s work in this area.  The Agriculture Committee is unique in Congress for its bipartisan focus on outcomes over partisanship and process over politics.  As we dig into CFTC reauthorization, I know that they will continue to uphold those traditions.  I look forward to seeing what they can accomplish together.

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