Legislative Update: Drug Imports, Origin Labeling, WTO
For more information on pursuing trade policy interests through the legislative process, please contact trade consultant Nicole Bivens Collinson.
Drug and Device Imports. The Safe and Secure Medicine Supply for Hardworking Americans Act (H.R. 6885, introduced by Rep. Flores, R-Texas) would prohibit the importation of a drug or medical device manufactured at a banned foreign facility and create incentives for pharmaceutical or medical device companies to increase manufacturing capacity in the U.S. A press release from Flores’ office states that this bill would (1) penalize foreign manufacturing facilities if they produce tainted drugs as well as the companies that import those drugs into the U.S., (2) place tariffs on drugs imported from China and India to discourage companies from manufacturing drugs outside the U.S., (3) create a registry of all FDA-approved drugs and any active ingredients manufactured outside the U.S., (4) require drug labels to indicate the country of origin for each active ingredient, and (5) provide incentive grants to drug manufacturers to increase their manufacturing capacity and workforce in the U.S.
Origin Labeling. The Country of Origin Labeling Online Act (S. 3707, introduced May 13 by Sen. Baldwin, D-Wis., and Sen. Scott, R-Fla.) would require (1) the country of origin for products advertised for sale on the Internet to be clearly and conspicuously stated in the website’s description of the product and (2) clear disclosure of the country in which the seller of the product is located in the online product listing. This bill would also prohibit false and misleading representation of U.S. origin on products. A press release from Baldwin’s office states that this bill would update U.S. labeling laws for the e-commerce era so online shoppers have the same access to country-of-origin and seller location information that in-person shoppers do.
WTO. Resolutions to withdraw the U.S. from the World Trade Organization have been introduced in the House (H.J.Res. 89, introduced by Rep. DeFazio, D-Ore.) and Senate (S.J.Res. 71, introduced by Sen. Hawley, R-Mo.). Hawley said the WTO has “enabled the rise of China and benefitted elites around the globe while hollowing out American industry.” As a result, DeFazio said, a withdrawal is needed “to strengthen and protect our manufacturing base, public health and safety, industry and jobs, U.S. sovereignty, and the environment.”
Congress may vote on U.S. participation in the WTO every five years. The House voted in favor of withdrawal in 2005 but the Senate has never voted on it.