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.

Trade Agreements. The Market Economy Sourcing Act (S. 2713, introduced Sept. 13 by Sen. Casey, D-Pa.) would limit the amount of content from non-market economies that could be incorporated into goods afforded preferential treatment under U.S. free trade agreements negotiated under trade promotion authority. Specifically, for the first five years after such an FTA enters into force, no more than 20 percent of the content in qualifying goods allowed to come from non-FTA parties could originate from NMEs, a figure that would drop to ten percent thereafter.

Sen. Casey said that currently “half the content of goods entering into the United States under a trade agreement could come from China” and that those same goods “could be deemed ‘American’ through the FTA government procurement chapter.” These existing rules “may further enmesh our dependency on supply chain from foreign adversaries, and nations which do not adhere to high standards on labor or environment,” he added.

Labeling. The American Beef Labeling Act (S. 2716, introduced Sept. 13 by Sen. Thune, R-S.D.) would require the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to develop and implement within one year a World Trade Organization-compliant means of reinstating mandatory country of origin labeling for beef, which in its previous form was struck down by the WTO years ago. If USTR fails to do so the previous labeling requirement would be automatically reinstated for beef only.

The Senate approved Sept. 14 the Reinforcing American-Made Products Act (S. 297), which would give the federal government exclusive authority to regulate the extent to which a product is introduced, delivered for introduction, sold, advertised, or offered for sale in interstate or foreign commerce with a “Made in the USA” or “Made in America” label to represent that the product was in whole or substantial part of domestic origin.

Tariffs. H.R. 5286 (introduced Sept. 17 by Rep. Schneider, D-Ill.) would provide adjustment assistance to firms adversely affected by reduced exports resulting from tariffs imposed as retaliation for U.S. tariff increases.

Imports. H.R. 5088 (introduced Aug. 24 by Rep. Gosar, R-Ariz.) would prohibit the importation into, or transit through, the U.S. of any mineral, or product produced with minerals, from Afghanistan.

IPR. The Advancing America’s Interests Act (H.R. 5184, introduced Sept. 7 by Rep. DelBene, D-Wash.) would modernize intellectual property rights protection processes at the International Trade Commission by (1) providing that a U.S. company cannot be used as a plaintiff or complainant in a section 337 case unless it voluntarily joins a complaint requesting ITC relief, (2) clarifying that a company whose only industry is licensing must show that its patent has led to the adoption or development of products that actually incorporate the patent, and (3) requiring the ITC to consider public interest as paramount to the exercise of its remedial powers and affirmatively determine that any exclusion order serves the public interest.

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