United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 04, 2023
Congressional findings and declaration of policy
Congress recognizes that natural latex rubber is a commodity of vital importance to the economy, the defense, and the general well-being of the Nation. The United States is totally dependent upon foreign sources for its supplies of natural (Hevea) latex, which total about one million tons per year. Synthetic rubber, manufactured from petroleum feedstocks, cannot be substituted for natural rubber.
Congress further recognizes that certain plant species of the genus Parthenium (Guayule), native to Texas and the Republic of Mexico, as well as other plants, are known to contain commercial quantities of extractable rubber. During World War II, through research carried out by the Secretary of Agriculture in the Emergency Rubber Project, the United States demonstrated that Parthenium latex is a promising and realistic substitute for Hevea latex.
Congress further recognizes that additional research and development are needed, especially into methods for increasing latex yields, before commercialization of native Parthenium latex or other hydrocarbon-containing plants by private industry is feasible.
Congress further recognizes that the development of a domestic natural rubber industry, based on Parthenium and other hydrocarbon-containing plants, would not only relieve the Nation’s dependence upon foreign latex sources but also convey substantial economic benefits to people living in arid and semiarid regions of the United States. Such an industry would comprise the agricultural production of the hydrocarbon-containing plants and the development of commercial processing and manufacturing facilities to extract the latex and other products.
Congress further recognizes that ongoing research into the development and commercialization of native latex has been conducted by the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the National Science Foundation, and other public as well as private and industrial research groups, and that these research efforts should be continued and expanded.
In addition, Congress recognizes that the development of a domestic industry or industries for the production and manufacture from native agricultural crops of products other than rubber which are of strategic and industrial importance but for which the Nation is now dependent upon foreign sources, would benefit the economy, the defense, and the general well-being of the Nation, and that additional research efforts in this area should be undertaken or continued and expanded.
It is therefore the policy of the United States to provide for the development and demonstration of economically feasible means of culturing and manufacturing Parthenium and other hydrocarbon-containing plants, along with other native agricultural crops, for the production of critical agricultural materials to benefit the Nation and promote economic development.
(Pub. L. 95–592, § 2,
Nov. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 2529; Pub. L. 98–284, § 2, May 16, 1984, 98 Stat. 181.)
cite as: 7 USC 178