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

Customs. The Fighting Trade Cheats Act (S. 805, introduced March 15 by Sens. Brown, D-Ohio, and Tillis, R-N.C.) would increase civil penalties (including monetary penalties and bans on importing) for, and improve enforcement with respect to, fraud and gross negligence under 19 USC 1592. The two senators said this bill would allow private companies to sue foreign producers.

The Customs Business Fairness Act (H.R. 1453, introduced March 8 by Reps. Garbarino, R-N.Y., and Meeks, D-N.Y.) would allow full subrogation of claims for the payment of customs duties. The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America said this bill would protect customs brokers who have paid duties on behalf of importers that subsequently file for bankruptcy.

CTPAT. S. 794 (introduced March 14 by Sens. Cornyn, R-Texas, and Carper, D-Del.) 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.

Forced labor. The Transaction and Sourcing Knowledge Act (S. 864, introduced March 16 by Sen. Scott, R-Fla.) would require the Securities and Exchange Commission to require reporting of sourcing and due diligence activities of companies involving supply chains of imported products that are directly linked to products utilizing forced labor from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Tariffs. Reps. Espaillat (D-N.Y.) and Gonzalez-Colon (R-P.R.) recently sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo urging them to exempt the Dominican Republic from Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs to help facilitate the ongoing hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, which does not produce steel.

Trade policy. The New Democrat Coalition announced recently the establishment of a new policy task force on trade that will be chaired by Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, D-Texas, and co-chaired by Reps. Don Beyer, D-Va., and Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif. The coalition said this and other new task forces “will convene frequent meetings and roundtables with experts and administration officials, endorse legislation and recommendations for executive actions, advocate for Member priorities, work across the aisle to find bipartisan legislative solutions, provide messaging guidance for Members and staff, and more to address the greatest challenges our nation is facing today. 

AGOA. Several House Democrats recently urged the Biden administration to terminate the Central African Republic’s eligibility for trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The lawmakers asserted that the CAR has “systematically failed to uphold the rule of law or protect the human rights of its civilians” and has invited and empowered foreign mercenaries, “namely the Russian government-affiliated Wagner group, which employs brutal tactics without due regard for the civilian population.”

Exports. The Lower Energy Costs Act (H.R. 1, introduced March 14 by Rep. Scalise, R-La.) would increase U.S. energy production, exports, infrastructure, and critical minerals processing.

Labeling. H.R. 1604 (introduced March 14 by Rep. Rosendale, R-Mont.) would modify requirements for a meat food product of cattle to bear a “Product of U.S.A.” label.

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