For more information on pursuing trade policy interests through the legislative process, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956 or via email.
S. 3198 (introduced Nov. 2 by Sen. Cassidy, R-La.) would impose a fee on certain products imported into the U.S. based on the pollution intensity associated with their production. According to information from Cassidy’s office, highlights of this bill include the following.
- covered products include natural gas, oil, hydrogen, minerals, solar panels, wind turbines, aluminum, cement, glass, iron, steel, petrochemicals, and paper (others could be added)
- fee expressed as a percentage of the value of the imported good based on the difference between the pollution intensity of the goods produced in a foreign country versus the U.S. (meaning it can be increased if that difference grows)
- fee calculated to ensure that imports of a given product are initially no more than 50 percent more pollution-intense than the U.S., a figure that drops to 25 percent and then 10 percent over time
- no fees on foreign products within ten percent of U.S. pollution intensity
- fees can be waived if (1) products are within 50 percent of U.S. pollution intensity if created in a free trade agreement country, (2) there are national security needs tied to sourcing a product from a specific country, or (3) the U.S. produces less than five percent of domestic need for a product in clearly defined cases
- fees could be increased if specified evasion efforts occur
- designed to expand into international partnerships that encourage trade between participating countries
- pollution intensity values, rates, and covered products would be reassessed every three years
- existing duty drawback laws, rules, and applications would be maintained for products imported, refined, and then exported
The Manifest Modernization Act (S. 3217, introduced Nov. 2 by Sens. Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Cassidy, R-La.) would extend the requirement to publicly disclose shipping manifest information, which currently applies only to ocean vessels, to aircraft, trucks, and rail. A joint press release from the two senators suggested that the additional information will further aid the identification of sanctions evasion schemes, forced labor in supply chains, tainted pharmaceutical products, and criminal activity. They also noted that businesses can use this information to find and evaluate suppliers, identify new customers, research market trends, and protect their intellectual property.
The House Ways and Means Committee approved Nov. 3 H.R. 5862 (introduced Oct. 2 by Rep. Steel, R-Calif.), which a committee press release said would create a global trade specialist position within U.S. Customs and Border Protection “to ensure the agency is responding faster to counter those like China who are always looking to exert an unfair economic advantage and cheat America’s trade laws.”
Ways and Means Committee
Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., announced recently that he will not seek re-election in 2024. Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal, D-Mass., praised Blumenauer for “[shining] a light on the use of forced labor worldwide and [helping] bolster U.S. enforcement efforts to end these abusive practices” as well as leading on efforts to ban imports of illegally harvested timber.
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