H.R.15 - Trade Partnership Act100th Congress (1987-1988)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Michel, Robert H. [R-IL-18] (Introduced 01/06/1987)|
|Committees:||House - Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs; Energy and Commerce; Judiciary; Ways and Means|
|Latest Action:||House - 04/27/1988 See H.R.3. (All Actions)|
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Summary: H.R.15 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)
Introduced in House (01/06/1987)
Trade Partnership Act - Title I: International Trade - Directs the President to establish the Commission on Trade which shall: (1) evaluate existing U.S. trade laws and policies; (2) develop recommendations on monetary and fiscal policies for the United States and its chief trading partners; (3) evaluate the export financing practices of major trading partners and of international agencies; and (4) review existing trade agreements to assess their effect on U.S. long-term trading interests. Requires the Commission to report its findings and recommendations to the President and to the Congress. Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should evaluate such findings and recommendations and take into account the results of an international monetary conference to determine the propriety of convening a summit conference on international trade in order to develop changes in international trade and monetary practices.
Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should call for an international monetary conference to develop: (1) options for reforming institutional mechanisms in order to decrease the disparity among, and to prevent dramatic fluctuations in the value of, the currencies of the major economic powers; and (2) means for reducing interest rates, promoting national and world economic growth, assuring price stability, and promoting higher levels of international trade.
Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should initiate multilateral trade negotiations under the auspices of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in order to: (1) resolve the issues not resolved in earlier negotiations; (2) develop multilateral disciplines in those areas where trade problems have emerged or are becoming more acute; (3) focus on improving the dispute settlement mechanisms of the GATT; (4) place a high priority on bringing developing countries into full participation in the international trading community; (5) ensure that all developed countries share equally the responsibility for advancing the economies of developing countries; and (6) increase efforts to bring countries now outside the GATT under accepted multilateral disciplines governing trade.
Directs the President to begin negotiations immediately if Canada requests the negotiation of a trade agreement that provides for the elimination or reduction of any duty imposed by the United States. Directs the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to review the bilateral relationships between the United States and its major trading partners in order to determine those countries that offer the most potential for the establishment of free trade areas with the United States. Sets forth factors to be considered in making such review.
Authorizes the President, during the year following enactment of this Act, to negotiate with Japan on a trade agreement under which the United States will permit the exportation to Japan of Alaskan petroleum and natural gas in return for substantial concessions by Japan regarding the importation into Japan of agricultural products, wood products, and other kinds of export products that are important to the United States.
Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to transfer to the USTR specified functions relating to import relief that are currently performed by the President. Directs the President to review the USTR's determination on whether to provide import relief and what form such relief should take. Requires the President to complete such review within 15 days of receiving the USTR's determination. Directs the President to notify the Congress of the President's decision and of the USTR's determination. Directs the USTR to take action to implement the import relief which the USTR decides to provide if the President concurs in the USTR's decision. Directs the USTR to take action to implement the President's decision on import relief if it differs from the USTR's decision and no joint resolution disapproving the President's decision is enacted. Directs the USTR to order the implementation of the import relief recommended by the International Trade Commission if the decision of the President differs from the decision of the USTR and a joint resolution disapproving the President's decision is enacted.
Authorizes interim relief after a petition for import relief is filed if the USTR determines that: (1) it is likely that the article is being imported in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause of serious injury or threat thereof to the competing domestic industry; and (2) the absence of such interim relief would result in irreparable harm to the domestic industry.
Authorizes emergency relief from imports of perishable products (other than perishable products from a beneficiary country under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act) after a petition for such relief is filed if the USTR, after consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, decides that: (1) there is a reasonable indication that the perishable product is being imported in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause of serious injury, or threat thereof, to the competing domestic industry; and (2) emergency action is warranted. Directs the USTR, upon deciding to grant interim relief or emergency relief, to: (1) determine the method and extent of such relief; (2) notify the President of such decision; and (3) unless the President decides within 15 days that such relief is not in the national economic interest, order the Commissioner of Customs to impose such relief. Declares that such relief may consist of tariff increases or import limitations. Provides for the termination of such relief.
Directs the USTR to order the Commissioner of Customs to implement actions necessary to enforce U.S. rights under any trade agreement if: (1) the President and the USTR agree on the appropriate action; or (2) the President differs with the USTR on the appropriate action but a joint resolution disapproving such action is not enacted.
Reduces from 21 to 15 the number of days between the President's receipt of the USTR's recommendation of appropriate action and the President's decision on what action is appropriate. Requires the President to determine during such 15-day period if: (1) the President concurs in the USTR's recommendation; or (2) it is in the national economic interest not to take any action or to take action different from the action determined by the USTR. Requires the President to notify the Congress of such decision. Provides that, if 90 days after the Congress receives notice of such decision no joint resolution is enacted disapproving it, then such decision shall take effect.
Reduces the amount of time the USTR may take to make a recommendation on a petition for enforcement of U.S. trade rights. Sets forth the actions the USTR may recommend to the President based on such petition.
Directs the USTR to include in the annual report to the Congress on foreign barriers to market access an analysis and assessment of the overall reciprocity accorded U.S. products, services, and investment by each of the major trading partners of the United States and the impact on major U.S. product sectors of the failure to provide reciprocity.
Requires specified congressional committees, within 90 days of receiving such report, after consulting with the USTR and conducting public hearings, to issue a joint report on: (1) the priorities for negotiations regarding reducing or eliminating trade barriers; and (2) the committees' recommendations on actions to enforce U.S. trade rights.
Directs the Secretary of Labor to pay to private firms 80 percent of the cost of providing job training if the training is certified as trade readjustment training and if the trainees are not charged for the training.
Extends the job training, job search, and job relocation allowance provisions of the trade adjustment assistance programs through January 1, 1987.
Amends the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to set a one year deadline for the President to take action on the advice of the Secretary of Commerce on imports that are suspected of impairing national security.
Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to reduce the time limit for decisions by the International Trade Commission on allegations of unfair practices in import trade from one year (18 months in more complicated cases) to eight months (ten months in more complicated cases).
Declares that the USTR should expedite the issuance of notices requesting the negotiation of periodic adjustments to the bilateral limitations on shipments of textiles and apparel contained in the Multi-Fiber Arrangement.
Directs the Commissioner of Customs to: (1) increase the number of inspectors, import specialists, and customs patrol officers in the Customs Service by at least 800; (2) implement the Automated Commercial System at all ports of entry; and (3) implement a program for detecting, investigating, and prosecuting patent and copyright infringement cases. Requires the Commissioner to report quarterly to specified congressional committees on the operation and effect of the patent and copyright infringement program.
Imposes a penalty for multiple customs law offenders who import or attempt to import merchandise during the three years following the date of the third of the offenders' convictions.
Title II: Protection of Patents and Transfer of Technology - Part A: Protection of Patents - Amends the patent laws to make it an infringement of patent to use, sell, or import into the United States without authority a product produced by a patented process. Places the burden of proof upon the party asserting that a product was not produced with the patented process in an infringement action where the court finds a substantial likelihood that the product was so produced and the claimant has exhausted all means of discovery.
Part B: Protection of Proprietary Information - Exempts commercial and financial information that is proprietary or sensitive from the sunshine provisions applied to Federal agencies if the proprietor is notified of the request for release of the information and given 60 days to present arguments on why the information should be exempt.
Title III: Export Promotion - Amends the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 to increase, from five percent to ten percent, the percentage of shares that: (1) a bank holding company may hold in an export trading company; and (2) an Edge Act corporation may hold in an export trading company. Increases the amount of credit that a bank owning stock in a bank holding company with investments in an export trading company may extend to an export trading company.
Amends the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 to direct the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank to try to insure that a "significant share" (currently a "major share") of any loan guarantees ultimately serves to promote exports from small, medium-size, and minority businesses or agricultural concerns. Requires the Board to report to the Congress on implementation of such requirement within one year of its effective date.
Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to develop a program consisting of mixed credit financing for exports to compensate for the effects of subsidized financing by U.S. trading partners. Declares that the Export-Import Bank should expand its promotion programs for small- and medium-sized banks.
Amends the Federal Reserve Act to give Edge Act corporations the same discount and borrowing privileges as Federal Reserve banks. Repeals the limitation on bank investments in Edge Act corporations. Directs the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to require periodic reports from every corporation of the total amount of capital stocks and paid up surplus of the corporation, the name of any stockholder who holds more than ten percent of the shares of the stock of such corporation, and the share holdings of such stockholder.
Directs the U.S. Executive Director of each of the multilateral development banks to promote procurement opportunities relating to the assistance provided by such banks in recipient countries for U.S. firms. Sets forth actions the Executive Directors should take with respect to such opportunities.
Declares that the Secretary of Commerce should continue to assign one foreign commercial service officer to the office of the U.S. Executive Director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Directs the Secretary of Commerce to assign such an officer on a part-time basis to each of the offices of the U.S. Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.
Requires the U.S. Ambassadors to those countries that are important trading partners of the United States to report annually to the President and to the Congress on their efforts to help U.S. industries in expanding export sales to, and improving their market positions in, such countries.
Authorizes the seven Bell operating companies, effective September 1, 1987, to manufacture telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment in the United States if specified conditions are met.
Title IV: Foreign Corrupt Practices - Business Accounting and Foreign Trade Simplification Act - Changes the name of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) to the Business Practices and Records Act.
Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to require securities issuers to maintain an internal accounting system that provides reasonable assurance that specified accountability and accuracy goals are met. Prohibits imposing criminal liability for failing to maintain such an accounting system. Prohibits imposing civil injunctive relief with respect to: (1) an issuer who fails to maintain the required accounting system if the issuer tried in good faith to meet the requirements; or (2) any person other than an issuer in connection with an issuer's failure to comply with such requirements, unless such person knowingly caused the issuer to fail to comply. Prohibits anyone from knowingly circumventing such an accounting system for a purpose inconsistent with the accountability and accuracy goals of such system. Requires only good faith efforts at ensuring compliance by issuers who hold 50 percent or less of the equity of domestic or foreign firms.
Transfers from the Securities and Exchange Commission to the Department of Justice jurisdiction to enforce the bribery prohibitions of the FCPA with respect to issuers.
Revises the prohibition against domestic concerns using any means of interstate commerce to further payments to obtain business with a foreign official. States that such a payment made "directly or indirectly" to a foreign official is illegal. Prohibits such payments that are made to: (1) influence a foreign official's act or induce such an official to violate a legal duty; or (2) induce a foreign official to affect a foreign government's act. Prohibits domestic concerns from using interstate commerce to direct or authorize an agent to further such a payment to a foreign official.
Exempts from such prohibitions: (1) payments to foreign officials to expedite or to secure the performance of routine governmental action; (2) payments to such officials that are lawful under the foreign country's laws; (3) payments which constitute tokens of regard or esteem; (4) expenditures associated with selling, purchasing, or demonstrating goods; or (5) ordinary expenditures associated with performing a contract with a foreign government.
Revises the fines and criminal penalties for violations of such Act. Empowers the Attorney General to undertake all civil investigations necessary to enforce the Act.
Prohibits prosecution of a domestic concern or specified agents of such concern for violating the Federal mail or wire fraud provisions by making a payment to a foreign official if the prosecution is based on the theory that the official, by receiving the payment, violated a duty to or defrauded the foreign government or the citizens of a foreign country.
Authorizes the Attorney General to issue guidelines specifying: (1) permissible conduct associated with common types of export sales arrangements; and (2) precautionary procedures which would create a rebuttable presumption of compliance.
Provides for the establishment of a Business Practices and Records Act Review Procedure to answer specific inquiries concerning enforcement of such Act. Requires the Attorney General to issue opinions regarding compliance. Makes such opinions final and binding on all parties if the opinion states that the conduct does not involve a violation. Directs the Attorney General to protect the confidentiality of materials submitted in the review procedure.
Requires annual reports to the Congress by: (1) the Attorney General concerning actions taken pursuant to such Act; and (2) the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning the reporting requirements.
Title V: Related Tax Provisions - High Technology Research and Scientific Education Act of 1987 - Part A: Tax Credit for Increasing Research Activities - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to make permanent the tax credit for research and development (R&D) expenditures. Modifies the definition of qualified research for purposes of the R&D credit to narrow the category of eligible activities for which the credit is allowable.
Provides that in-house and contract research expenses paid or incurred by a regular corporation (not an S corporation, a personal holding company, or a service corporation) will constitute qualified research expenses for R&D credit purposes if the corporation undertakes the research with the intention to use the result thereof in the active conduct of a present or future trade or business. Provides that in the case of research being conducted in partnership form, research expenses will constitute qualified research expenses if they are incurred by the partnership in carrying on a trade or business as applied at the partnership level, and the credit is apportioned among the partners in accordance with general partnership rules. Provides exceptions to this general rule where: (1) there is a joint venture enterprise of regular corporations; or (2) not all of the members of the joint venture are regular corporations, but each member's own trade or business would satisfy the trade or business test with respect to the partnership's research expenditures. Provides that for these two exceptions the research expenses will flow through to the partners, with the trade or business test being applied at the partner level.
Part B: Promotion of University Research and Scientific Investigation - Establishes a new income tax credit equal to 20 percent of that portion of a corporation's payments to universities (and other qualified non-profit tax-exempt organizations for basic research) which exceeds a fixed, historical "minimum university basic research" floor. Defines the "minimum university basic research" floor as one percent of the annual average of the corporate taxpayer's combined qualified in-house research expenses, contract research expenses, and university basic research payments for the base period composed of the period from 1981 through 1983. Provides that the amounts of research expenses which fall below the floor shall remain eligible for the present R&D credit and are included in the corporation's base period for purposes of calculating the present R&D credit. Treats the amounts which exceed the "minimum university basic research" floor as ineligible for the present R&D credit and excludes such amounts from the corporate taxpayer's base year research expenses for purposes of calculating the corporation's R&D credit under present law.
Provides that a corporation's payments to universities for basic research that is eligible for the new tax credit shall be reduced to the extent that the corporation's general (i.e., not designated for research purposes) charitable giving to all universities falls below historical levels (the annual average of undesignated payments for three of the immediately preceding four years as selected by the taxpayer). Makes additions to the list of organizations to which corporate payments for basic research may be made and be eligible for the tax credit.
Allows a corporation an income tax deduction for contributions of scientific or technical property to an institution of higher education. Defines scientific property to mean tangible personal property (including computer software) used in a trade or business, which is donated for the direct education of students or faculty, for research and experimentation, or for research training in the United States in mathematics, the physical, biological, or chemical sciences, engineering, or advanced computer sciences.
Sets forth a formula for determining the amount of the allowable deduction for contributions of scientific property.
Provides for an income tax exclusion for the scholarships, fellowship grants, student loan forgiveness, or stipends of a graduate student in mathematics, engineering, computer science, or the physical or biological sciences. Provides that such tax exclusion is not forfeited merely because the student is required, as a condition of the scholarship or fellowship, to perform future service in teaching or research.