Background

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

China Tariffs. Dozens of trade groups recently wrote to Reps. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., and Collin Peterson, D-Minn., to express their support for The Export Tariff Act (H.R. 7665), which would direct the U.S. trade representative to extend current Section 301 tariff exclusions on Chinese goods for a year unless USTR finds that (1) the product is strategically important or related to “Made in China 2025” or other Chinese industrial programs and (2) extending the exclusion would cause severe harm to the U.S. “Businesses often have to wait months – and some have waited up to a year – to find out from USTR whether they have been granted an exclusion,” the letter said. “Often that news comes at the last minute, with the exclusion expiring shortly after they receive it.” The letter also reiterated concerns about USTR Robert Lighthizer’s comments that future extensions to current exclusions would only be granted through the end of 2020, which shows “a fundamental lack of understanding of the complex business decisions that determine where global supply chains are developed and whether they can or should be moved.”

Critical Minerals. The Onshoring Rare Earths Act (H.R. 7812, introduced July 30 by Rep. Joyce, R-Pa.) would (1) permanently allow a tax deduction at the time an investment is made in property used to extract critical minerals and metals from the U.S. and (2) modify the prohibition on the acquisition of certain sensitive materials from non-allied foreign nations. A press release from Joyce’s office said this bill seeks to end U.S. dependence on China for rare earth elements and other critical minerals that are used to manufacture medical supplies, defense technology, and high-tech products by establishing a supply chain for these minerals in the U.S.

Forced Labor. The Slave-Free Business Certification Act (H.R. 7824, introduced July 30 by Rep. Buck, R-Colo.) would require chief executive officers to certify that their supply chains are free of slave labor or that they have reported all instances of forced labor in their companies.

Origin. S. 4364 (introduced July 30 by Sen. McSally, R-Ariz.) would require online retailers to legibly state on a noticeable place on their website if a product or major component of a product they sell originated in China or if the product was manufactured or assembled in China.

Supply Chains. The Restoring Critical Supply Chains and Intellectual Property Act (S. 4234, introduced July 27 by Sen. Graham, R-S.C.) would require personal protective equipment such as clothing, sanitizing supplies, ancillary medical supplies (wipes, bedding, test swabs, etc.), and other textile equipment to be grown, reprocessed, reused, or produced in the U.S. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services would be required to immediately begin increasing procurements of domestic PPE for the strategic national stockpile incrementally and to reach 100 percent domestic sourcing as soon as practicable within five years.

The Resilient Manufacturing Task Force Act (S. 4359, introduced July 30 by Sens. Coons, D-Del., and Rubio, R-Fla.; and H.R. 7853, introduced July 30 by Reps. Stevens, D-Mich., and Balderson, R-Ohio) would require the Department of Commerce to establish a task force to identify vulnerabilities in supply chains for U.S. entities.

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ST&R: International Trade Law & Policy

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