Industry News

Senate Finance Committee Holds Open Executive Session on Four Trade Bills
April 20, 2015

    On April 22, 2015, the Senate Finance Committee will hold an open executive session to discuss four trade bills: 1. The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) 2. Trade Adjustment Assistance and Health Coverage Tax Credit 3. The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSP), and the Preferential Duty Treatment Program for Haiti and 4. Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement.  Wednesday’s session will allow for markups of the legislation, which is the practice of debating, amending and rewriting proposed bills.  

    The proposed TPA bill would “establish trade negotiating objectives for the United States”.  If enacted, the bill would grant the President the trade promotion authority through July 1, 2018 and could be further extended to July 1, 2021.  It also sets forth “Congressional oversight, consultation, and reporting requirements” while also establishing regulations for the enactment of trade agreements.  

    The second bill would amend the Trade Act of 1974 to continue the Trade Adjustment Assistance program until December 31, 2021 and the Health Care Tax Credit until 2019.
    AGOA and the special rule of origin on third country fabric would be extended until September 30, 2025.  The GSP would be extended until December 31, 2017 and would retroactively apply to designated imports on or after July 31, 2013.  Haiti is currently given preferential treatment for apparel exports made of designated fabrics.  The proposal continues the duty free status of those products until September 30, 2025.
    The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement markup includes six objectives “to: 1) to enhance a proper balance between U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) trade facilitation and trade enforcement responsibilities and functions; 2) to ensure import health and safety; 3) to ensure import-related protection of intellectual property rights; 4) increase enforcement of antidumping and countervailing duties; 5) additional trade enforcement and intellectual property rights provisions; and 6) other purposes.”
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