Legislative Update: GSP, Air Cargo, Outsourcing, Ports, Product Safety
GSP. The GSP Footwear Act (S. 2032, introduced Oct. 30 by Sen. Cantwell, D-Wash.), would make certain footwear eligible for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences. According to a Footwear News article, the bill covers footwear considered “noncontroversial” because it is not manufactured domestically, “including some categories of athletic shoes and boots for women, men, youth, and toddlers.”
The Competitive Need Limitations Modernization Act (S. 2036, introduced Oct. 31 by Sen. Donnelly, D-Ind.) would modernize a waiver process that allows the U.S. trade representative to provide GSP duty-free treatment to certain items as long as current domestic production of those items is taken into account. A press release from Donnelly’s office states that this bill would change what is considered “current production” from 1995 to the most recent three calendar years. It would also move the deadline for annual waiver decisions from July 1 to Oct. 15 to allow for the review of full-year trade data in making determinations.
Air Cargo Security. The Air Cargo Security Improvement Act (H.R. 4176, introduced Oct. 31 by Rep. Thompson, D-Miss.) would (1) establish an air cargo security office within the Transportation Security Administration, (2) require TSA to conduct a pilot program to test the expanded use of screening equipment using computed tomography technology to screen air cargo on passenger aircraft, (3) require TSA to report on actions to improve the Certified Cargo Screening Program, (4) require the Department of Homeland Security to issue within six months a final rule establishing the Air Cargo Advance Screening program (which has been in pilot status for many years), (5) require DHS to develop and issue standards for the use of third-party explosives detection canine assets for air cargo, and (6) require a comprehensive review and security assessment of the known shipper program that recommends whether to modify or eliminate this program.
Outsourcing. The End Outsourcing Act (H.R. 4139, introduced Oct. 26 by Rep. Pocan, D-Wis.) would update the U.S. tax code to prohibit companies from receiving tax breaks for outsourcing jobs and factories, claw back tax credits and grants related to the operation and maintenance of a facility closing to relocate abroad, establish tax incentives for companies that relocate foreign jobs to rural and impoverished communities in the U.S., and ensure that federal contracting policy takes into consideration whether companies have outsourced domestic jobs.
Ports. The Clean Ports Act (H.R. 4147, introduced Oct. 26 by Rep. Nadler, D-N.Y.) would update federal law to ensure that ports can enact and enforce clean truck programs and take appropriate measures to improve operations at port facilities.
Product Safety. H.R. 4220 (introduced Nov. 2 by Rep. Griffith, R-Va.) would adopt a certain California flammability standard as a federal flammability standard to protect against the risk of upholstered furniture flammability.