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China. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has announced plans to develop a legislative package aimed at further boosting U.S. competitiveness with China that could resurrect some of the trade-related provisions lawmakers had approved before they were ultimately dropped from the CHIPS and Science bill signed into law in 2022. Schumer said the package could include tighter export controls and sanctions, restrictions on U.S. investment, and other measures to reduce U.S. economic reliance on China. Other provisions could include a renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences and the miscellaneous trade bill, reinstatement of expired exclusions from the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China, and changes at U.S Customs and Border Protection and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Schumer indicated that he wants the package to be bipartisan and hopes to move it through the Senate later this year.
Western hemisphere. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee reported May 4 the Western Hemisphere Partnership Act (S. 1325), which includes provisions to promote economic competitiveness, democratic governance, and security in the region. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said the bill has been revised to, among other things, require the establishment of a strategy to increase U.S. trade and investment in Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean by 200 percent over the next ten years.
Solar tariffs. On May 3 the Senate approved H.J.Res. 39, which would reverse the Biden administration’s two-year suspension of antidumping and countervailing duties on solar cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam determined to be circumventing the AD/CV duty orders on such goods from China. The White House has said President Biden will veto the bill, and it currently appears unlikely that Congress will be able to override a veto.
Origin labeling. The Country of Origin Labeling Online Act (S. 1421, introduced May 3 by Sens Baldwin, D-Wis., and Vance, R-Ohio) would require (1) the country of origin of a product to be clearly and conspicuously stated in the website’s description of the product and (2) clear disclosure of the country in which the seller of the product is located in the online product listing.
Apparel. S. 1413 (introduced May 3 by Sen. King, I-Maine) would amend chapter 62 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. to modify the requirements for a garment to be considered water resistant.
Exports. The Promoting Rural Exports Act (S. 1415, introduced May 3 by Sens. Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Hoeven, R-N.D.) would establish the Rural Export Center within the U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service and task it with providing customized market research services to help rural businesses target their exports, conducting strategic planning and export support services for rural businesses, and making data relating to its effectiveness publicly available on its website.
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