Legislative Update: AGOA, Food Labeling, Defense Exports
AGOA. The Senate approved April 9 the AGOA and MCA Modernization Act (H.R. 3445), sending the measure to the president for his signature. This bill would direct the president to establish a website for the collection and dissemination of information regarding the African Growth and Opportunity Act and urge the State Department to promote the use of AGOA benefits by eligible sub-Saharan African countries. This bill would also urge the president to (1) facilitate trans-boundary trade among eligible SSA countries, (2) provide training for business and government trade officials on accessing AGOA benefits, (3) provide capacity building for African entrepreneurs and trade associations on production strategies, quality standards, and market development, (4) provide capacity building training to promote product diversification and value-added processing, and (5) provide capacity building and technical assistance funding to help African businesses and institutions comply with U.S. counter-terrorism policies.
Food Labeling. The Food Labeling Modernization Act (S. 2647, introduced April 11 by Sen. Blumenthal, D-Conn.) would direct the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a single, standard front-of-package nutrition labeling system in a timely manner for all food products required to bear nutrition labeling. The bill would also require the percent daily values for calories and sugar, as well as the amount of sugar that is not naturally occurring, to be listed on the “Nutrition Facts” label.
Defense Exports. H.R. 5508 (introduced April 13 by Rep. Cicilline, D-R.I.) would repeal the prohibition on the transfer of articles on the U.S. Munitions List to Cyprus.