Legislative Update: Trade Preferences, Regulatory Reform, Handguns
Caribbean Trade Preferences. S. 1943 (introduced Oct. 5 by Sen. Nelson, D-Fla.) would extend for ten years, through Sept. 30, 2030, the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act, which allows beneficiary countries to export textile and apparel articles made with U.S. yarns, fabrics, and threads to the U.S. duty-free.
AGOA. The African Growth and Opportunity Act and Millennium Challenge Act Modernization Act (S. 832) was ordered favorably reported by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Oct. 5. This bill aims to accelerate the impact of AGOA by directing the president to establish a website for the collection and dissemination of information on AGOA and urging the State Department to encourage eligible sub-Saharan African countries to use AGOA benefits. The bill also urges the president to (1) facilitate trans-boundary trade among eligible sub-Saharan African countries, (2) provide training for business and government trade officials on accessing AGOA benefits, (3) provide capacity building for African entrepreneurs and trade associations on production strategies, quality standards, and market development, (4) provide capacity building training to promote product diversification and value-added processing; and (5) provide capacity building and technical assistance funding to help African businesses and institutions comply with U.S. counter-terrorism policies.
Regulatory Reform. H.R. 4003 (introduced Oct. 10 by Rep. Posey, R-Fla.) would require federal agencies, when proposing new regulations, to identify two other regulations they intend to repeal. This would codify a policy set forth in an executive order issued by President Trump earlier this year.
Handguns. The Handgun Trigger Safety Act (S. 1915, introduced Oct. 4 by Sen. Markey, D-Mass.) would require new handguns imported into, manufactured in, or sold in the U.S. to incorporate smart gun technology within five years. According to a press release from Markey’s office, smart gun technology allows the purchaser of a gun to designate authorized users who can operate the gun, which would be inoperable for all others.