Legislative Update: Trade Assistance, FCPA, E-Waste Exports
Trade Assistance. The Senate Foreign Relations Commission has approved the Global Gateways Trade Capacity Act (S. 2201), which would put the State Department in charge of coordinating a whole-of-government effort to improve the effectiveness of U.S. assistance for expanding trade in developing countries that would include the following.
- establishing an interagency committee that will coordinate planning for U.S. trade assistance programs
- creating a private sector trade advisory committee that will provide advice on U.S. trade assistance
- developing a biennial joint strategic plan that seeks to improve coordination among agencies, enhance private sector consultation, identify impediments to effective trade assistance, set priorities to focus on the best value, establish performance measures and targets, and provide
estimates for resources to achieve these objectives
- creating a five-year pilot program to promote developing country implementation of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement and trade facilitation reforms
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Foreign Business Bribery Prohibition Act (H.R. 5438) would give individuals and companies the ability to take legal action against corporations that violate the FCPA. Under current law, only the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are allowed to bring FCPA enforcement actions. According to a press release from sponsor Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Col.), the bill also aims to “instill good governance by clarifying the FCPA statutory interpretations, which will help businesses compete overseas and reduce corruption in domestic business operations.”
Electronic Waste Exports. The Secure E-Waste Export and Recycling Act (H.R. 5579, introduced June 24 by Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.)) seeks to control the export of electronic waste to ensure that it does not become the source of counterfeit goods that may reenter military and civilian electronics supply chains in the U.S. A press release from Cook’s office said the bill would require domestic recycling of all untested, nonworking electronics to “keep them out of the hands of counterfeiters and data thieves,” particularly in China. Further, U.S. Customs and Border Protection would be authorized to inspect shipments of electronic products intended for export and to stop violative shipments and hold shippers accountable.