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Legislative Update: Hong Kong, Trade Remedies, Exports

Tuesday, December 03, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

For more information on pursuing trade policy interests through the legislative process, please contact trade consultant Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956.

Hong Kong. President Trump signed into law Nov. 27 the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (S. 1838), which would require the State Department to report to Congress each year as to whether Hong Kong remains sufficiently autonomous from mainland China to justify the continuation of the special trade treatment provided by the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. This certification would address sanctions enforcement and export controls as well as other issues. The bill would also require the Department of Commerce to report annually to Congress for seven years on (a) the nature and extent of violations of U.S. export control and sanctions laws in Hong Kong, (b) whether sensitive dual-use items subject to U.S. export control laws are being transshipped through Hong Kong, and (c) China’s efforts to use Hong Kong to evade U.S. export controls and sanctions. The bill also provides authority to impose sanctions for undermining fundamental freedoms and autonomy in Hong Kong but specifies that this does not include sanctions on imports of goods.

Trade Remedies. The Play by the Rules Act (S. 2900, introduced Nov. 19 by Sens. Baldwin, D-Wis., and Capito, R-W.V.) would give the Department of Commerce additional flexibility when reviewing petitions alleging antidumping and countervailing duty order circumvention against non-market economy countries.

Exports. The Exporting Clean Energy Act (H.R. 5188, introduced Nov. 20 by Rep. Curtis, R-Utah) aims to increase exports of clean energy technology by creating a congressional mandate for the Export-Import Bank to focus on energy financing when a U.S. strategic competitor is bidding for a contract or when the U.S. is capable of providing lower emissions than a competitor.

The Promoting Rural Exports Act (H.R. 5203, introduced Nov. 20 by Rep. Peterson, D-Minn.) would establish the Rural Export Center to help rural businesses access international markets and work to increase their exports.

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