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.

Forced labor. H.R. 2072 (introduced March 18 by Rep. Wexton, D-Va.) would direct the Securities and Exchange Commission to create rules under which publicly-traded companies would annually disclose imports of manufactured goods and materials – including electronics, textiles, automobile parts, polysilicon, wigs and hair extensions, and shoes – that originate in or are sourced in part from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. 

Normal trade relations. The China Trade Relations Act (S. 785, introduced March 17 by Sen. Cotton, R-Ark.) would withdraw permanent normal trade relations treatment from China and return to a system whereby China would have to obtain NTR status through annual presidential approval, which could be overridden if Congress passes a joint resolution of disapproval. This bill would also expand the list of human rights and trade abuses that would disqualify China for NTR status.

H.R. 1913 (introduced March 16 by Rep. Kelly, R-Miss.) would authorize the extension of NTR to products of Uzbekistan.

Supply chain. The National Manufacturing Guard Act (S. 869, introduced March 18 by Sen. Coons, D-Del.) would (1) establish an Office of Supply Chain Preparedness in the Department of Commerce, (2) direct this office to oversee a National Manufacturing Guard, a reserve workforce of manufacturing and supply chain experts trained to respond to a crisis of scarcity by scaling up production of resources, identifying and resolving bottlenecks in supply chains, and coordinating efforts between the U.S. government and private entities, and (3) direct the office to develop a supply chain data exchange to collect, aggregate, and analyze manufacturing and supply chain data to enable insight into the national supply, capacity, and potential shortages of critical resources.

Tariffs. The Trade Security Act (S. 746, introduced March 15 by Sen. Portman, R-Ohio) would reform Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 by (1) splitting the Section 232 process into an investigation phase led by the Department of Defense and a remedy phase led by the Department of Commerce, (2) requiring the DoD (rather than the DOC) to justify the national security basis for new Section 232 tariffs, (3) expanding the process whereby Congress can disapprove of a Section 232 action to include all types of products, and (4) requiring consultation with Congress throughout the Section 232 process.

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