Omnibus Spending Bill Funds Trade Agencies, Extends TAA, Requires IPR Report
An omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the federal government through Sept. 30, 2015, was approved Dec. 11 by the House of Representatives and was expected to pass the Senate soon thereafter. Highlights of the trade-related funding and other provisions in this measure include the following.
- a $27 million increase for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act
- $472 million for the International Trade Administration, including $9 million for the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center
- $102.5 million for the Bureau of Industry and Security
- $84.5 million for the International Trade Commission
- $54.3 million for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
- $123 million for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to continue to enhance import surveillance activities at U.S. ports of entry, continue development of mandatory product safety rules for durable infant and toddler products, and expand global outreach efforts
- $710.6 million to extend the Trade Adjustment Assistance program through fiscal year 2015, including benefits for those certified after Dec. 31, 2014
- $17.4 million for the State Trade and Export Promotion program, which provides grants that can be used to support small businesses on foreign trade missions, trade exhibitions or training or with foreign marketing-related issues such as Web site translation
- $14.6 million for Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement activities to respond to the global wildlife trafficking crisis
The bill also requires the ITC to submit within 120 days a report that provides statistical data on Section 337 intellectual property rights infringement investigations for fiscal years 2006 through 2014. This report must also include a discussion of (a) the practices and procedures used to assist small and medium-sized enterprises, (b) the procedures in place to ensure consideration of public interest factors, (c) procedures for the issuance of early rulings, and (d) the feasibility of narrowing the existing interpretation of licensing.