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Legislative Update: NAFTA, Export Controls, Solar Panel Tariffs

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

NAFTA. The 16 Democratic members of the House Ways and Means Committee have asked Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, to hold a hearing on the renegotiation of NAFTA. The Trump administration “has recently started signaling clear intentions to conclude the NAFTA renegotiation in the very near term,” the letter said, and a hearing would allow the committee to “exercise its congressional duties as the committee of jurisdiction over reciprocal trade agreements.”

For the same reason, Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., also asked Brady in a separate letter for a meeting of the House Advisory Group on Negotiations, an entity created by the most recent trade promotion authority law that the White House must consult with before entering into a trade agreement.

Export Controls. The House Foreign Affairs Committee has approved the Export Control Reform Act (H.R. 5040), which aims to modernize U.S. export controls on dual-use items. According to a press release from the office of committee chair and bill sponsor Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., this bill would (a) repeal the Export Administration Act that lapsed in 2001 and replace it with a modern, permanent statutory authority to better regulate U.S. dual-use and Department of Commerce-licensed military exports, (b) require that export controls ensure continued U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering, manufacturing, and other sectors, (c) provide new authority to identify and appropriately control critical emerging technologies, and (d) support U.S. diplomatic efforts to promote greater international coordination and cooperation on export controls.

Solar Panel Tariffs. The Protecting American Solar Jobs Act (H.R. 5571, introduced April 18 by Rep. Rosen, D-Nev.) would repeal the additional 30 percent tariffs President Trump imposed on imported solar panels. A press release from Rosen’s office stated that under this bill the tariffs would revert to previous rates and companies that paid the higher tariffs would receive retroactive reimbursement.

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