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New Legislation: China Imports, Border Security, AGOA, Freight Transport, CV Duties

Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Imports from China. H.R. 2701 (introduced June 9 by Rep. King, R-Iowa) would direct the president to impose duties on goods from China in an amount equivalent to the estimated annual loss of revenue to holders of U.S. intellectual property rights as a result of violations of such rights in China. King said the revenue raised by these duties would be proportionally distributed to provide compensation to holders of U.S. IPR.

Border Security. H.R. 2786 (introduced June 15 by Rep. Vela, D-Texas) would require U.S. Customs and Border Protection to submit a report on cross-border rail security that includes the following information: the number of shipments entering the U.S. by rail annually that are determined to be high-risk; specific details on the status of radiation detection units, by type, at each rail crossing on the northern and southern land borders; an assessment of whether additional radiation detection equipment is necessary to ensure that all high-risk cross-border rail shipments are examined with appropriate equipment; and a plan for ensuring that all relevant CBP personnel receive adequate training and guidance on the proper use of CBP’s Automated Targeting System for such shipments, the use of appropriate radiation detection equipment for examination of such shipments and requirements for recording examination results.

AGOA. H.R. 2845 (introduced June 19 by Rep. Royce, R-Calif.) would promote access to benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The president would be directed to establish a website for the collection and dissemination of information regarding AGOA, including information and technical assistance provided at U.S. Agency for International Development regional trade hubs and a link to U.S. embassy websites located in eligible sub-Saharan African countries. The bill would also encourage the president to implement policies to facilitate trans-boundary trade among eligible sub-Saharan African countries, provide training for business in such countries and government trade officials on accessing the benefits of AGOA and other trade preference programs, and provide capacity building for African entrepreneurs and trade associations, promoting product diversification and value-added processing, and helping businesses and institutions comply with U.S. counter-terrorism initiatives and policies.

Freight Transportation. S. 1680 (introduced June 25 by Sen. Cantwell, D-Wash.) includes the following provisions to improve multimodal freight investment and reduce freight bottlenecks and congestion.

- establishes a program to invest in multimodal freight projects

- reduces the impact of freight on communities by investing in grade separations to reduce truck and rail network delays, eliminate congestion and reduce highway/rail conflicts

- repairs last-mile short-line rail connections to agricultural and industrial centers

- creates a national multimodal freight policy that strategically identifies freight bottlenecks and major trade corridors and helps prioritize federal investment

- amplifies the voice of local and regional freight stakeholders through state multimodal freight advisory committees and state multimodal freight plans

- expedites permitting for freight projects with a new office of freight planning, permitting and development

H.R. 2933 (introduced June 25 by Rep. Larsen, D-Wash.) would require the Department of Transportation to establish a local rail facilities and safety program to mitigate the impacts of railroad operations in local communities through improvements to highway-rail grade crossings, rail line relocation and improvement projects, and training and technical assistance to local governments.

CV Duties. S. 1702 (introduced June 25 by Sen. King, I-Maine) and H.R. 2945 (introduced June 25 by Rep. Welch, D-Vt.) would require the International Trade Administration to determine an individual countervailable subsidy rate upon request if four or fewer exporters and producers are involved in the investigation or review.

Wildlife Imports. H.R. 2920 (introduced June 25 by Rep. Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.) would amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to prohibit the importation, exportation, transportation, sale, receipt, acquisition and purchase in interstate or foreign commerce, or in a manner substantially affecting interstate or foreign commerce, of any live animal of any prohibited wildlife species.

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