The Obama administration has released a statement indicating that the following changes to existing trade law will be required to bring the U.S. into compliance with its obligations under the Trans-Pacific Partnership. These changes are likely to be included in the TPP implementing legislation that the White House could submit for congressional approval later this year.

- The merchandise processing fee will have to be conformed to the requirement that fees or charges on or in connection with importation or exportation not be levied on an ad valorem basis.

- 19 USC 1592(c) will have to be amended to exempt an importer from penalties for an invalid claim that a good qualifies as an originating good under TPP provided that the importer, on becoming aware and prior to the government’s discovery of the error, voluntarily corrects the claim and pays any customs duty owed.

- 19 USC 1592 will have to be amended to provide for the imposition of penalties on U.S. producers and exporters that make false certifications that goods qualify as TPP originating goods.

- 19 USC 1508 will have to be amended to provide that U.S. producers and exporters that issue certifications stating that a good qualifies as TPP originating must keep copies of such certifications and supporting documents and information for at least five years and render them for examination and inspection by U.S. customs officials upon request.

- 19 USC 1520(d) will have to be amended to provide that when a good qualifying as TPP originating is imported into the U.S. the importer has at least one year from the date of importation to claim preferential tariff treatment under TPP for that good.

- 19 USC 2518 will have to be amended to permit the president to designate products from a TPP party as eligible for purposes of waiving discriminatory purchasing requirements under U.S. government procurement law.

Concerning this last point, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said that “TPP would undermine our ‘Buy American’ procurement preferences.” As a result, “we would be required to treat products and firms from TPP nations, including Chinese state-owned firms in Vietnam, the same as U.S. firms when granting U.S. government contracts.” This would be harmful, she said, “at a time when we are losing manufacturing jobs to nations overseas by the thousands and wages are stagnant or falling.”

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