Two Bills Introduced in House and Senate Aimed at Reforming Trade Enforcement, Boosting U.S. Manufacturing
June 1, 2017
On May 31, 2017, Sen. Jon Tester (D - MT) introduced his “Strengthening Security and American Manufacturing Act” (SSAMA), a bill which stipulated that the Department of Homeland Security source all of its uniform, equipment and other law enforcement-related supplies from American producers. During the previous week, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), along with several other cosponsors, introduced the “Jobs and Trade Competitiveness Act of 2017” (JTCA), a bill which proposes an array of reform measures aimed at strengthening trade enforcement and at providing tax credits for companies who repatriate their operations to the United States or its territories. More monies would also be allocated for facilitating additional legal representation during WTO dispute proceedings.
SSAMA is intended to broaden already existing legislation which makes similar requirements for the Armed Forces. If enacted, SSAMA would apply to all Customs and Border Patrol agents, TSA officers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, and any other law enforcement personnel affiliated with DHS.
In addition to enhancing existing prosecution and providing a corporate repatriation tax credit, JTCA calls for the creation of two new government positions within the Executive branch dedicated to trade negotiation or to prosecution of standing FTAs. The Chief Manufacturing Negotiator would “promote manufacturing in the United States” by coordinating and development tailored negotiation strategies. The Chief Trade Prosecutor, under the President’s direction, would lead enforcement efforts. Furthermore, a special consultative group would be formed that would advise Congress regarding FTA enforcement and the Government Accountability Office tasked with administrating the recently passed restrictions on imports produced with forced labor.
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