Background

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

Tariffs. The Global Trade Accountability Act (S. 691, introduced March 16 by Sen. Lee, R-Utah) would require both chambers of Congress to affirmatively approve of any unilateral trade actions by the president before they could take effect. Such actions would include increases in tariffs or duties, tightening of tariff-rate quotas or quantitative restrictions on imports, and other restrictions or prohibitions on imports. The bill does allow for national emergency exceptions for 90 days, after which the president would still have to obtain approval from both chambers of Congress.

Buy American. The BuyAmerican.gov Act (S. 732, introduced March 11 by Sen. Murphy, D-Conn.) would direct the General Services Administration to establish a central, publicly-available website to collect and display information about each requested waiver to Buy American laws. A press release from Murphy’s office said this website would allow manufacturers and other interested parties to identify contract opportunities and hold federal agencies accountable for abusing Buy American waivers. It would also give manufacturers the chance to challenge pending waivers sought by federal agencies.

Exports. The Building Rural Investments, Development, and Growth for the Economy Act (H.R. 1701, introduced March 9 by Rep. Miller, R-W.V.) would direct the departments of Commerce and State to promote exports of goods from rural regions, with a focus on small businesses, and to facilitate foreign investments into U.S. rural communities.

S. 707 (introduced March 11 by Sen. Wicker, R-Miss.) and H.R. 1819 (introduced March 11 by Rep. Garamendi, D-Calif.) would require a certain percentage of natural gas and crude oil exports to be transported on U.S.-built and -flagged vessels.

Invasive Species. The Lacey Act Amendments of 2021 (S. 626, introduced March 9 by Sen. Rubio, R-Fla.) would enhance protections against the importation and transport between states of injurious species. A press release from Rubio’s office said this bill would (1) correct the negative impacts of a 2017 federal court decision that diminished the Fish and Wildlife Service’s ability to manage the establishment and spread of invasive species in the U.S. and (2) grant authority for emergency designation of species that pose an imminent threat and authority to prohibit imports of wildlife species not yet in trade until they have been assessed for injuriousness. 

China. The Strengthening Trade, Regional Alliances, Technology, and Economic and Geopolitical Initiatives Concerning China Act (S. 687, introduced March 10 by Sen. Risch, R-Idaho) would advance a policy for managed strategic competition with China.

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