Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing the Commodity Exchange Act Amendments.

February 20, 1968

IN MY State of the Union Message last month, I urged passage of a bill to protect further the integrity of the Nation's commodity exchanges and the funds of the thousands of Americans who deal in them. I am pleased to be able to sign that bill into law today.

It represents another significant step by a Congress that has the opportunity to make its mark as the greatest consumer Congress in the history of our Nation.

Commodity exchanges are the national markets where agricultural products are bought and sold. Last year those markets handled approximately $75 billion in agricultural transactions.

Those simple facts make it quite clear that commodities are big business, and explain why the honesty and soundness of the commodity exchanges are important to all Americans.

Since 1922, the Commodity Exchange Act and other Federal legislation have encouraged cooperation between the Federal Government and the exchanges in preventing fraud and market manipulations. Under the Act, commodity market conditions have improved greatly. Nevertheless, additional safeguards have been needed for some time.

These amendments--the first of any substance in over 30 years--respond to that need.

The new legislation adds the active and growing market in livestock and livestock products to the commodities regulated under the act, and increases the criminal penalties for illegal trading abuses such as market manipulation and embezzlement. Although regulatory responsibility for commodity trading will remain primarily with the exchanges themselves, the new amendments will substantially strengthen the enforcement authority of the Secretary of Agriculture.

Consumer groups, food processors, farm organizations--and the commodity exchanges themselves--have joined the administration in supporting this legislation.

The Senate and House Committees on Agriculture and the Congress are to be commended for their prompt action on this milestone in commodity market regulation.

Note: As enacted, the bill (H.R. 13094) is Public Law 90-258 (82 Stat. 26), approved February 19, 1968.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Commodity Exchange Act Amendments. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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