ST&R Webinar: Trade in 2017: Administration and Congress Taking Action
New Legislation on Import Restrictions, Cuba Trade, Foreign Bribery, Boycotts
Cuba. The Cuba Trade Act (S. 472, introduced Feb. 28 by Sen. Moran, R-Kan.) would repeal or amend current laws restricting trade with Cuba, including eliminating the prohibition on assistance (including export assistance) to Cuba, the president's authority for the embargo on Cuba, the president’s authority to impose sanctions against Cuban trading partners, restrictions on transactions between U.S.-owned or controlled firms and Cuba, limitations on direct shipping between Cuban and U.S. ports, the prohibition on U.S. persons providing payment or financing terms for sales of agricultural commodities or products to Cuba, and the prohibition on the entry of goods of Cuban origin.
FCPA. The Foreign Business Bribery Prohibition Act (H.R. 1549, introduced March 15 by Rep. Perlmutter, D-Colo.) would expand the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by authorizing certain private rights of action for violations that damage certain businesses. Perlmutter said this bill “is more important than ever” because “it’s unclear if FCPA enforcement will remain a priority” in the Trump administration.
Beef Imports. S. 688, introduced March 21 by Sen. Tester, D-Mont., would ban imports of beef and poultry from Brazil for 120 days to give the Department of Agriculture time to comprehensively investigate recently identified food safety threats.
Illegal Drug Imports. The International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act (S. 708, introduced March 23 by Sen. Markey, D-Mass.) would improve U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s ability to interdict fentanyl, other synthetic opioids, and other narcotics and psychoactive substances illegally imported into the U.S. by (1) ensuring that CBP will have additional portable chemical screening devices available at ports of entry and mail and express consignment facilities as well as additional fixed chemical screening devices available in CBP labs, (2) providing CBP with sufficient resources, personnel, and facilities to interpret screening test results from the field, and (3) authorizing the appropriation of $15 million for hundreds of new screening devices, lab equipment, facilities, and personnel for support during all operational hours.
Boycotts. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720, introduced March 23 by Sen. Cardin, D-Md., and H.R. 1697, introduced March 23 by Rep. Roskam, R-Ill.) would amend the Export Administration Act to prohibit boycotts or requests for boycotts imposed by international governmental organizations against Israel, similar to prohibitions already in place with respect to boycotts imposed by foreign countries. The legislation would also ensure that the Export-Import Bank considers boycott, divestment, and sanctions issues concerning Israel when evaluating potential credit applications.