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Legislative Update: Buy American, Shipment Data, Natural Gas Exports

Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Buy American. The 21st Century Buy American Act (S. 2196, introduced Dec. 6 by Sen. Murphy, D-Conn.) aims to strengthen existing Buy American standards to ensure that the U.S. government prioritizes the purchase of U.S.-made goods. According to a press release from Murphy’s office, under this bill federal agencies would rarely be able to use public interest waivers of Buy American requirements without considering long-term and short-term effects on U.S. employment. The bill would also invest in new and existing manufacturers of non-available items or manufacturers who are the only domestic manufacturer of a specific item to help them compete against foreign manufacturers for U.S. government contracts. 

Natural Gas Exports. The Small Scale LNG Access Act (H.R. 4370, introduced Nov. 9 by Rep. Yoho, R-Fla.) would amend the Natural Gas Act to expedite approval of exports of small volumes of liquefied natural gas. Specifically, any application for the exportation of LNG in a volume equal to or less than 51.1 billion cubic feet per year would be deemed to be consistent with the public interest and granted without modification or delay. The Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act (H.R. 4606, introduced Dec. 11 by Rep. Johnson, R-Ohio) would have a similar effect, which Johnson said would benefit countries in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America that are looking to the U.S. to meet their natural gas needs.

The Unlocking Our Domestic LNG Potential Act (H.R. 4605, introduced Dec. 11 by Rep. Johnson, R-Ohio) would allow domestic LNG suppliers to export natural gas after completing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission review process instead of waiting for additional approval by the Department of Energy.

Shipment Data. The Moving Americans Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 4403, introduced Nov. 15 by Rep. Denham, R-Calif.) would requires U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure that any personally identifiable information, including social security numbers, passport numbers, and residential addresses, are removed from any ocean vessel manifest signed, produced, delivered, or transmitted under 19 USC 1431 before the manifest is disclosed to the public.

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