New Legislation: Trade Agreements, GSP, Cuba
Trade Agreements. The Reciprocal Market Access Act (H.R. 764, introduced Feb. 5 by Reps. Slaughter, D-N.Y., and Jones, R-N.C.) would require the U.S. trade representative to temporarily suspend the provisions of a trade agreement if a trading partner implements barriers to keep U.S goods from being sold in that country. This bill would (a) require the president to certify to Congress that reciprocal market access has been obtained in advance of agreeing to a modification of any existing duty on a product, (b) provide the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center, along with the Department of Labor, the authority to require USTR to revoke tariff concessions if a trading partner fails to uphold reciprocal market access commitments, and (c) instruct the International Trade Commission to conduct an assessment of a prospective trade agreement’s impact on market access opportunities and barriers, both tariff and non-tariff, for U.S. products or services impacted by the proposed agreement.
GSP. The GSP Update for Product Diversification and Trade Enhancement Act (S. 340, introduced Feb. 3 by Sen. Blunt, R-Mo., and H.R. 681, introduced Feb. 3 by Rep. Crenshaw, R-Fla.) would authorize the president to designate certain luggage and travel articles as eligible for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences.
Cuba. The Promoting American Agricultural and Medical Exports to Cuba Act (H.R. 635, introduced Feb. 2 by Rep. Rangel, D-N.Y.) would facilitate the export of U.S. agricultural products to Cuba, remove impediments to the export to Cuba of medical devices and medicines, authorize direct transfers between Cuban and U.S. financial institutions, facilitate the issuance of visas to Cuban officials for inspecting U.S. facilities, and establish an agricultural export promotion program with respect to Cuba.
H.R. 735 (introduced Feb. 4 by Rep. Serrano, D-N.Y.), would lift the trade embargo on Cuba.