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.

Textiles. Eight Democratic senators recently wrote to acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Troy Miller seeking increased enforcement of the textile and apparel origin and content rules in the CAFTA-DR and USMCA trade agreements. The letter said that “insufficient enforcement can create a pathway for banned Xinjiang cotton to infiltrate regional supply chains and undermine efforts to enforce the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.”

MTB. Dozens of trade organizations wrote to the leaders of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees Nov. 15 urging that the miscellaneous trade bill be renewed through 2026 with full retroactivity. The MTB temporarily reduces or eliminates import tariffs on products not available in the U.S. and has been expired since December 2020, which the letter said has cost U.S. manufacturers and businesses more than $1.4 billion in tariffs.

Trade Preferences. The Innovation and Development in Ecuador Act (H.R. 6414, introduced Nov. 14 by Rep. Salazar, R-Fla.) would make Ecuador eligible for designation as a beneficiary country under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act and confer other benefits provided under the Caribbean Basin Trade and Partnership Act.

CBP. The CBP SPACE Act (introduced Nov. 13 by Reps. Lee, R-Fla., and Perez, D-Wash.) would ensure that a portion of the revenues from the merchandise processing fee are used to fund U.S. Customs and Border Protection salaries, expenses, and capital costs associated with seaport inspection operations. Lee cited recent demands from CBP requesting that ports pay for new and expensive equipment as well as agency threats to reduce CBP officers at some ports and cease operations at others if those demands are not met.

Trade Committees. Reps. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., and Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, both currently members of the House Ways and Means Committee, have announced that they will not seek re-election in 2024. Trade Subcommittee Chair Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., has previously said he will not be returning either.

Exports. The Specialty Crops Reporting on Opportunities and Promotion Act (S. 3300, introduced Nov. 14 by Sens. Wyden, D-Ore., and Crapo, R-Idaho) would make improvements to the annual U.S. specialty crops trade issues report to more effectively identify and combat unreasonable trade barriers. These include explicitly requiring participation and engagement from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as well as highlighting specific trade barriers and actions taken or expected to be taken by the U.S. government to address or resolve them.

Imports. The Ending Importation of Laundered Russian Oil Act (H.R. 6417, introduced Nov. 16 by Rep. Doggett, D-Texas) would amend the Ending Importation of Russian Oil Act to provide for a prohibition on the importation of energy products produced at refineries outside Russia.

Freight Transportation. S. 3331 (introduced Nov. 16 by Sen. Warner, D-Va.) would establish an intermodal transportation infrastructure pilot program.

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