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Legislative Update: Tariff Inversions, Agricultural Exports, Cosmetics

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Tariff Inversions. The Tariff Inversion Jobs Act (H.R. 2385, introduced May 4 by Rep. Paulsen, R-Minn.) would direct the International Trade Commission to submit within 180 days a report identifying tariff inversions in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. (i.e., situations in which tariffs on inputs for a product are higher than those on the final product) that create an incentive for U.S. companies to move production overseas and recommending measures to eliminate such provisions. This bill would also eliminate the import duty on panels and main boards for televisions, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2014, to eliminate the tariff inversion that exists with respect to the production of TVs.

Agricultural Exports. The Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports Act (H.R. 2321, introduced May 3 by Reps. Newhouse, R-Wash., and Pingree, D-Maine) would double funding for the Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program over five years to further create, expand, and maintain access to foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products.

Cosmetics. The Personal Care Products Safety Act (S. 1113, introduced May 11 by Sen. Feinstein, D-Calif.) would update federal safety rules for personal care products for the first time since 1938 as follows.

- require the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate a minimum of five ingredients per year to determine their safety and appropriate use; the first set of chemicals for review includes diazolidinyl urea (used as a preservative in products such as deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath, and lotion), lead acetate (used as a color additive in hair dyes), methylene glycol/formaldehyde (used in hair treatments), propyl paraben (used as a preservative in products such as shampoo, conditioner, and lotion), and quaternium-15 (used as a preservative in products such as shampoo, shaving cream, skin creams, and cleansers).

- provide the FDA the authority to order recalls of certain personal care products that threaten consumer safety

- provide the FDA the authority to require labeling of products that include ingredients not appropriate for children and those that should be professionally administered

- require complete label information to be posted online, including ingredients and product warnings

- require companies to provide contact information for consumers on their products and to report serious adverse events to the FDA within 15 days

- require manufacturers to register annually with the FDA and provide the agency with information on the ingredients used in their personal care products

- direct the FDA to issue regulations on good manufacturing practices for personal care products

To fund these new activities the bill would authorize the FDA to collect user fees from personal care products manufacturers similar to what is done for medications and medical devices.

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