Background

For more information on pursuing trade policy interests through the legislative process, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson.

Trade secrets. The Senate amended and approved Dec. 20 the Protecting American Intellectual Property Act (S. 3952, introduced June 10 by Sens. Van Hollen, D-Md., and Sasse, R-Neb.), which would require a report to Congress every six months identifying (1) any individual or firm that has engaged in, benefitted from, or materially assisted the significant and serial theft of U.S. trade secrets, if that theft constitutes a major threat to U.S. national security, foreign policy, economic health, or financial stability, and (2) the chief executive officers and board members of the reported firms and whether those individuals have benefitted from such activity. The president would then have to (1) impose either property-blocking sanctions or a denial order for identified firms and (2) impose property-blocking sanctions and prohibit entry into the U.S. for identified individuals. These penalties would terminate if the president certifies to Congress that the individual or firm is no longer engaged in the sanctionable behavior. The legislation also includes a national security waiver. 

Jones Act. The Jones Act Repeal Act (H.R. 8996, introduced Dec. 17 by Rep. Amash, L-Mich.) would repeal the federal law requiring commercial ships to be U.S.-built, -owned, and -crewed, which Amash said has led to “increased shipping and transportation costs in the United States that ultimately hurt American consumers.”

Investment. S. 5049 (introduced Dec. 17 by Sen. Casey, D-Pa.) would require reviews of U.S.     investment in foreign countries that may threaten national critical capabilities and would improve the use of authorities under the Defense Production Act of 1950.

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