Monday, August 11, 2008

Trade Enforcement Bill Introduced

On July 17, two House Ways and Means Committee members introduced a trade enforcement bill H.R. 6530 designed to promote market access for U.S. goods and services and reinforce remedies against unfair trade practices. Introduced by Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Sander Levin, D-Mich, the bill also calls for improved enforcement of U.S. intellectual property rights, health and safety laws and other related trade issues.

“The American public is skeptical about U.S. trade policy in part because the public does not believe that our trading partners are playing by the same rules as the United States,” Chairman Rangel said. “Our trading partners need to open their markets to U.S. exporters. They need to stop providing trade-distorting subsidies, and to stop dumping their products in our market. They need to protect intellectual property rights, and they need to ensure that their exports to the United States are safe. The Trade Enforcement Act of 2008 will help to regain confidence in U.S. trade policy." (
House Committee on Ways and Means Press Release July 17, 2008)

The bill’s primary objectives are aimed at:

· Combating counterfeiting and piracy;
· Improving import safety;
· Eliminating barriers to American exports;
· Restoring and enhancing U.S. trade remedies.

The proposed bill involves participation and coordination between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the trade. The bill creates several new positions, such as the Office of Congressional Trade Enforcer and provides resources for training and technology to carry out this mission.

Due to other priorities, the shorter congressional schedule and the potential desire for government agencies and members of the trade to review and provide input, it is unlikely that the bill be approved this year. However, this effort will set the stage for trade policy discussions when the new president takes office in 2009.

Click HERE to see the entire bill.
Click HERE to see a summary of the bill.

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