For more information on pursuing trade policy interests through the legislative process, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956 or via email.
China. The House passed March 27 the Undersea Cable Control Act (H.R. 1189), which would (1) require the Department of Commerce to determine the appropriate level of export and transfer controls under the Export Administration Regulations for goods and technologies capable of supporting the construction, maintenance, or operation of undersea cable projects, (2) require the Department of State to develop and report to Congress annually on a strategy to prevent such goods and technologies from being available to foreign adversaries, and (3) require the president to enter into agreements with allies and partners to prevent such goods and technologies from being available to foreign adversaries (defined as China or any foreign government or non-government person (entity or individual) engaged in certain conduct that significantly and adversely affects U.S. security).
The House also approved March 27 the China is Not a Developing Country Act (H.R. 1107), which would ensure that China does not get preferential treatment in any international treaties, agreements, or organizations.
Tariffs. S. 1060 (introduced March 29 by Sen. Lee, R-Utah) would provide for congressional review of the imposition of duties and other trade measures by the executive branch.
Shipping. The Ocean Shipping Reform Implementation Act (H.R. 1836, introduced March 28 by Reps. Johnson, R-S.D., and Garamendi, D-Calif.) includes the following provisions.
- establishes a formal process to report complaints against shipping exchanges to the Federal Maritime Commission for investigation
- bans U.S. port authorities from using the Chinese state-sponsored National Transportation Logistics Public Information Platform and similar state-sponsored malware
- codifies the definition of “controlled carrier” under the Shipping Act to encompass state-controlled enterprises in non-market economies like China
- authorizes the FMC to streamline data standards for maritime freight logistics and use existing data standards or industry best practices
- authorizes the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to collect more information on port operations, such as the total of incoming and outgoing containers and yard capacity
- clarifies that the FMC may stipulate additional minimum requirements for service contracts by ocean common carriers
- establishes reciprocal trade as part of the FMC’s mission in enforcing the Shipping Act
- prohibits the FMC from requiring ocean carriers to report information already reported to other federal agencies
CBP. The Senate Homeland Security Committee favorably reported March 29 (1) S. 243, which would allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection to repair ports of entry at which the Office of Field Operations conducts certain enforcement and facilitation activities without involving the General Services Administration unless the project is valued at more than $300,000, (2) S. 206, which would require CBP to regularly review and update policies and manuals related to inspections at ports of entry, and (3) S. 794, which would create a pilot program allowing up to 20 non-asset-based third-party logistics providers to become certified in the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.
Exports. S. 1025 (introduced March 29 by Sen. Menendez, D-N.J.) would enhance the consideration of human rights in arms exports (see article on related action in this issue).
Drug Facilities. S. 1134 (introduced March 30 by Sen. Braun, R-ind.) would strengthen the authority of the Food and Drug Administration with respect to foreign drug facility inspections.
Air Cargo. The Honest Runway Labeling Act (H.R. 1804, introduced March 29 by Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas) would designate certain airports within 30 miles of the U.S. northern or southern borders as ports of entry and terminate the corresponding user fees under section 236 of the Trade and Tariff Act of 1984.
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