Legislative Update: Tariffs, Supply Chain Security, Origin Disclosure, Trade Officials
© , Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. Originally published in the [08/06/2019] issue of the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report. Reprinted by permission.
Tariffs. The American Business Tariff Relief Act (S. 2362, introduced July 30 by Sen. Whitehouse, D-R.I.) would require the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce to (a) establish a process under which U.S. businesses can request exclusions from increased tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 prior to the imposition of the tariffs, (b) make determinations on exclusion requests within 30 days and provide a rationale for any denials, (c) establish offices to review exclusion requests, and (d) submit to Congress a quarterly report providing detailed information about exclusion requests received and determinations made.
The Trade Certainty Act (S. 2413, introduced Aug. 1 by Sens. Carper, D-Del., and Toomey, R-Pa.) would specify that the International Emergency Economic Powers Act does not grant the executive branch the power to impose tariffs or quotas on imported goods. A joint press release notes that earlier this year President Trump threatened to use IEEPA as the basis for new tariffs on imports from Mexico over issues unrelated to trade.
The United States Reciprocal Trade Act (S. 2409, introduced July 31 by Sen. Graham, R-S.C.) would allow the president to impose tariffs on goods imported from individual countries that are equivalent to the tariffs those countries impose on U.S. goods.
Supply Chain Security. The Manufacturing, Investment, and Controls Review for Computer Hardware, Intellectual Property, and Supply Act (S. 2316, introduced July 30 by Sens. Crapo, R-Idaho, and Warner, D-Va.) aims to secure U.S. supply chains against exploitation by China and others. This bill would require the development of a plan to increase supply chain security within 180 days. It would also establish a National Supply Chain Security Center within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to serve as a central clearinghouse for assessing risks to critical technologies, fortifying the U.S. industrial base against these threats, and preventing compromised materials from entering the U.S. supply chain.
S. 2323 (introduced by Sen. Markey, D-Mass.) and H.R. 4102 (introduced by Rep. Clark, D-Mass.) would require the screening of 100 percent of inbound international mail and express cargo from high-risk countries to detect and prevent the importation of illicit fentanyl and other illicit synthetic opioids.
Origin Disclosure. The Promoting Responsibility in Markets and E-Tailers Act (S. 2208, introduced July 24 by Sen. Scott, R-Fla.) would require online retailers to prominently disclose the country of origin of each product they sell. The bill would also require digital apps to disclose their country of origin.
Confirmations. The Senate confirmed Aug. 1 Amy Karpel to serve as a member of the International Trade Commission and Tim Reif and Miller Baker to serve as judges on the Court of International Trade.
For more information on pursuing trade policy interests through the legislative process, please contact trade consultant Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956.