New Legislation: Trade Preferences, Cuba, Turkey, Pharmaceuticals
Trade Preferences. H.R. 3627 (introduced Sept. 28 by Rep. Doggett, D-Texas) would exclude from eligibility for the Generalized System of Preferences any country that fails to effectively enforce its environmental laws or meet its international environmental obligations.
Cuba. H.R. 3687 (introduced Oct. 6 by Rep Crawford, R-Ark.) would repeal restrictions on the financing of agricultural exports to Cuba and give domestic producers access to Department of Agriculture marketing programs that help the U.S. compete in foreign markets. This bill would also enable limited U.S. investment in Cuban agribusinesses as long as U.S. regulators certify the entity is privately owned and not controlled by the government of Cuba or its agents.
Turkey. H.R. 3685 (introduced Oct. 6 by Rep. Mooney, R-W.V.) would direct the U.S. trade representative to initiate within 180 days of enactment negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement with Turkey that, among other things, promotes the exportation and importation of natural resources, including coal.
Pharmaceuticals. H.R. 3648 (introduced Sept. 29 by Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio) would require the labels of drugs intended for human use to contain a parenthetical statement identifying the source of any ingredient constituting or derived from a grain or starch-containing ingredient. Ryan noted that the Food Allergen Labeling Consumer Protection Act of 2004 requires packaged food labels to identify all ingredients containing wheat and other allergens but that this distinction is missing from medical labels, making it more difficult for those suffering from celiac disease to identify gluten in pharmaceutical products.