Legislative Update: Brazil, CBP, Exports, Product Safety, Trade Preferences
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Brazil. The Act for the Amazon Act (H.R. 4263, introduced Sept. 10 by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.) would ban targeted imports from Brazil (e.g., beef, soybeans, leather and hide, timber, sugar, pulp and paper, tobacco, corn, and petroleum commodities contributing to deforestation) and prohibit the U.S. from negotiating a free trade agreement with Brazil until Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro “acts to aggressively combat” forest fires that are “currently devastating the Amazon rainforest in Brazil.” DeFazio said experts agree that an increase in such fires this year “is due in large part to increased deforestation and burning practices being used by Brazilian farmers and miners,” and he claimed that Bolsonaro “has actively undermined environmental enforcement protections and encouraged these practices.”
CBP Staffing. The Border Officers Utilization for National Defense Act (S. 2444, introduced Sept. 9 by Sen. Schumer, D-N.Y., and H.R. 4276, introduced Sept. 11 by Rep. Higgins, D-N.Y.) would establish a minimum staffing level of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers along the northern border, including at ports of entry.
The Senate approved Sept. 10 the Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act (S. 2107), which would authorize CBP to add 240 new agriculture specialists, 200 new agriculture technicians, and 20 new agriculture canine teams.
Exports. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has favorably reported the Small Scale LNG Access Act (S. 816), which would expedite approval of natural gas exports equal to or less than 51.1 billion cubic feet per year.
The Secure E-waste Export and Recycling Act (S. 2448, introduced Sept. 9 by Sen. Whitehouse, D-R.I.) would control the export of electronic waste to ensure that it does not become the source of counterfeit goods that may reenter military and civilian electronics supply chains in the U.S. A press release from Whitehouse’s office states that this bill would (a) require domestic recycling of untested, non-working e-waste, (b) provide a regulatory framework for creating a comprehensive national approach for the export of used electronics, and (c) allow for tested, working equipment to continue to be exported to promote reuse.
The PROTECT Hong Kong Act (H.R. 4270, introduced Sept. 11 by Rep. McGovern, D-Mass.) would prohibit commercial exports of certain non-lethal crowd control items and defense articles and services to the Hong Kong Disciplined Services.
Product Safety. The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act (H.R. 4296, introduced Sept. 12 by Rep. Schakowsky, D-Ill.) seeks to ensure the safe use of cosmetics by, among other things: (a) requiring foreign and domestic brand owners with more than $1 million in gross receipts to register annually with the Department of Health and Human Services, (b) imposing new ingredient labeling and listing requirements, and (c) allowing only cosmetics with ingredients that meet the specified safety standard to be sold in the U.S.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee favorably reported Sept. 13 (a) the Safe Sleep for Babies Act (H.R. 3172), which would prohibit the importation, manufacture for sale, offer for sale, or distribution in commerce of inclined sleepers with an inclined surface of greater than ten degrees that are intended, marketed, or designed to provide sleeping accommodations for infants up to one year old, and (b) the Safe Cribs Act (H.R. 3170), which would prohibit the importation, manufacture for sale, offer for sale, or distribution in commerce of any crib bumper.
Trade Preferences. The Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (S. 2473, introduced Sept. 12 by Sen. Isakson, R-Ga.) would extend certain provisions of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act for ten years, through Sept. 30, 2030.