Background

A number of trade-related measures are included in a broad bill intended to improve U.S. competitiveness against China that is beginning to make its way through the Senate. Other such measures could be attached to the bill further on in the legislative process.

Among the provisions already in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260), which incorporates a number of bills already approved by various Senate committees, are the following.

- requires a 180-day review of export controls on items that could be used to facilitate human rights abuses in China and a determination on whether further crime control or end-use/end-user export controls are necessary to mitigate the risks of such abuses

- establishes authority for end-use controls related to human rights abuses

- requires the imposition of sanctions against persons or entities in China determined to be knowingly involved in or benefitting from significant acts of intellectual property theft from U.S. persons or firms

- authorizes sanctions for forced labor and other abuses in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

- urges firms to adopt a corporate code of conduct for operating in China

- establishes a Department of Commerce program to work with the private sector to identify and recommend opportunities to mitigate or address supply chain vulnerabilities in the U.S. and allied and partner countries

- increases the Development Finance Corporation’s maximum liability to $100 billion and invests in supply chain security, infrastructure development, and digital connectivity and cybersecurity partnerships

- provides $2 billion in incentives for U.S. production of mature semiconductor technologies, such as for the automotive industry

- modernizes Buy American requirements to address the practice of using Chinese- or Russian-made steel and other products

- encourages greater domestic production of personal protective equipment

In addition, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has offered an amendment to the bill that would add the following provisions.

- requires increased CBP inspection of goods from countries identified to be significant sources of counterfeit goods

- strengthens U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s efforts to enforce the prohibition on imports of goods made with forced labor, including from the XUAR

- provides modernized trade enforcement tools to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to address anti-competitive digital trade and censorship practices, including by requiring USTR to identify trading partners that disrupt digital trade

- allows for the investigation of unreasonable digital trade measures that are detrimental to U.S. persons and provides for a review of discriminatory digital trade proposals

- provides for the sharing of information concerning intellectual property violations with additional interested parties

- requires additional reporting by USTR on certain activities related to China as well as efforts by China to circumvent existing obligations

- provides CBP flexibility to cross-train trade specialists

- directs CBP to better utilize data on seafood imports

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

Copyright © 2021 Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.; WorldTrade Interactive, Inc. All rights reserved.

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