Background

For more information on pursuing trade policy interests through the legislative process, please contact trade consultant Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956.

 

Cargo Scanning. The Securing America’s Ports Act (H.R. 5273, introduced Nov. 26 by Rep. Torres Small, D-N.M.) would require the Department of Homeland Security to develop a plan to increase to 100 percent the rate of scanning commercial and passenger vehicles entering the U.S. at land border ports of entry using large-scale non-intrusive inspection systems. A press release from Torres Small’s office states that U.S. Customs and Border Protection currently scans 15 percent of commercial trucks entering the U.S. and that NII scanning rates vary significantly by land port of entry.

Import Seizures. The Counterfeit Goods Seizure Act (S. 2987, introduced Dec. 5 by Sen. Tillis, R-N.C.) would authorize CBP to seize imported goods that infringe a design patent and harm U.S. consumers and businesses. Bill co-sponsor Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, explained that while CBP already has the authority to seize products that infringe copyrights and trademarks at the border, it lacks this same authority for products that infringe a design patent. Counterfeiters exploit this loophole by importing counterfeit products separately from labels containing an infringing trademark, Hirono said, only attaching the label once the counterfeit product has cleared customs.

China Exports. The UIGHUR Protection Act (S. 2972, introduced Dec. 4 by Sen. Cornyn, R-Texas) would require the president, no later than 120 days after the bill’s enactment, to identify and place on the Commerce Control List items and technologies that provide a critical capability to the Chinese government for suppressing human rights. Special licenses could be granted by the president for the export, reexport, or in-country transfer of these critical technologies to or within China, but the bill would require a presumption of denial.

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