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Legislative Update: Trade Remedies, Trade Agreements, Freight Transport

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade Remedies. The Agricultural Trade Improvement Act (H.R. 7015, introduced Oct. 2 by Rep. Curbelo, R-Fla.) would allow specialty crop growers to request the imposition of antidumping or countervailing duties. A press release from Curbelo’s office explains that under current law a trade remedy petition requires the support of either 25 percent of the domestic industry that produces a similar product or at least 50 percent of all producers of a domestic like product that expressed a position. This legislation would have the equal authority of a seasonality/perishable provision in NAFTA that Curbelo has been encouraging the Trump administration to include in the final deal.

Trade Agreements. The Fair Environmental Trade Agreements Act (H.R. 7064, introduced Oct. 16 by Rep. Coffman, R-Colo.) would require the U.S. trade representative to certify to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees that any trade agreement the U.S. enters into with another country includes strong and enforceable provisions relating to both environmental and labor standards. A press release from Coffman’s office notes that while the current trade promotion authority law’s list of negotiating objectives includes holding trading partners accountable for labor and environmental standards it does not require such standards to be part of a trade agreement.

Freight Transport. S. 3587 (introduced Oct. 11 by Sen. Carper, D-Del.) would amend 19 USC 23 to improve the nationally significant freight and highway projects program.

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