(a) Referendum and cotton producer approval of orders
The Secretary shall conduct a referendum among persons who, during a representative period determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production of cotton for the purpose of ascertaining whether the issuance of an order is approved or favored by producers. No order issued pursuant to this chapter shall be effective unless the Secretary determines that the issuance of such order is approved or favored by not less than two-thirds of the producers voting in such referendum, or by the producers of not less than two-thirds of the cotton produced during the representative period by producers voting in such referendum and by not less than a majority of the producers voting in such referendum.
(b) Referendum on proposed amendment to order implementing provisions of 1990 amendments to this chapter
(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 2103 and 2104 of this title, not later than 150 days after the date of enactment of the Cotton Research and Promotion Act Amendments of 1990 [November 28, 1990], and after notice and opportunity for public comment, the Secretary shall issue a proposed amendment to the order implementing the provisions of such Act, which shall become effective as provided in paragraph (2).
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), the Secretary shall, within a period not to exceed 8 months after November 28, 1990, conduct a referendum among persons who have been cotton producers during a representative period, as determined by the Secretary, and persons who are importers of cotton and who, during a 12-month period ending not later than 90 days prior to the conduct of the referendum under this section imported a quantity of cotton in excess of the de minimis quantity (if any) established by the Secretary under section 2116(c)(2) of this title, for the purpose of ascertaining if a majority of those voting approve the proposed amendment to the order issued by the Secretary under paragraph (1). The Secretary shall announce the results of the referendum within 30 days after the date of such referendum. If the amendment is approved in the referendum, within a period not to exceed 90 days from the date of announcement of the results of such referendum, the Secretary shall publish the amendment to the order and regulations implementing the amendment provided for in this subsection.
(c) Future referendums every five years or by request of cotton producers and importers
(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 2103 and 2104 of this title, once every five years after the date of the referendum provided for under subsection (b), the Secretary shall conduct a review to ascertain whether a referendum is needed to determine whether producers and importers favor continuation of the amendment to the order provided for in the Cotton Research and Promotion Act Amendments of 1990 if such amendment is then in effect or, if such an amendment is not in effect, whether they favor approval of such amendment. The Secretary shall make a public announcement of the results of the review within 60 days after each fifth anniversary date of the referendum provided for under subsection (b). If the Secretary determines to provide for such a referendum, the Secretary shall conduct the referendum within 12 months after a public announcement of the determination to conduct the referendum.
(2) If the Secretary does not provide for such a referendum on the Secretary’s own initiative, the Secretary shall conduct such a referendum upon the request of 10 percent or more of the number of cotton producers and importers voting in the most recent referendum, except that, in counting such requests for a referendum, not more than 20 percent of such requests may be from producers from any one State or importers of cotton. Producers and importers may sign up to request such a referendum at the county office of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, or county extension agent, or by mailing such a request to the Secretary, as prescribed in regulations. The sign-up period shall be for a period not to exceed 90 days, shall commence 60 days after the Secretary makes a public announcement of a determination not to provide for a referendum on the Secretary’s own initiative, and shall be publicized by the Secretary and the Cotton Board immediately after such public announcement. The referendum shall be held within 12 months after the end of the sign-up period, if requested by the requisite number of persons.
(3) The amendment to the order provided for in this subsection shall not be effective if it is disapproved by a majority of cotton producers and importers of cotton voting in the referendum.
REFERENCES IN TEXT The Cotton Research and Promotion Act Amendments of 1990, referred to in subsecs. (b)(1) and (c)(1), is subtitle G [§§1990–1998] of title XIX of Pub. L. 101–624, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3909, which amended sections 2101, 2106 to 2110, and 2116 of this title and enacted provisions set out as notes under section 2101 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1990 Amendment note set out under section 2101 of this title and Tables.AMENDMENTS 1991—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 102–237 made technical amendment to reference to section 2116(c)(2) of this title to correct error in corresponding reference in original act. 1990—Pub. L. 101–624 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsecs. (b) and (c).
7 U.S.C. § 2107 (2018)