Summary: H.R.4690 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4690. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (05/25/1988)

Plant-Opening and Jobs Creation Act of 1988 - Title I: General Tax Incentives - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to reduce the tax rate on capital gains realized by corporations from: (1) 34 percent to 15 percent in the case of the alternative tax; and (2) 20 percent to 15 percent in the case of the minimum tax.

Restores the permitted exclusion from the gross income of an employee of up to $5,250 of educational assistance provided under an employer's educational assistance program. (Under current law the exclusion expired as of January 1, 1988.)

Eliminates the increase in both employer and employee tax rates under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (social security taxes) scheduled to go into effect in 1990 and thereafter.

Reduces the unemployment tax rate from 6.2 percent to 6.0 percent as of 1989. (Under current law the reduction becomes effective in 1991).

Title II: Enterprise Zones - Enterprise Zone Development and Employment Act of 1988 - Subtitle A: Designation of Enterprise Zones - Provides for the designation of enterprise zones by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Secretary) for purposes of providing tax and regulatory relief and improving local services. Specifies that States and local governments shall nominate areas for designation. Limits to 100 the total number of areas that may be designated as enterprise zones. Limits the period during which: (1) the Secretary has authority to designate zones; and (2) the designations may remain in effect.

Authorizes the Secretary to designate a zone only if the area meets certain locational, demographic, unemployment and poverty requirements. Requires nominating local governments, as a condition of the Secretary's designation, to agree in writing to follow a course of action that may include reducing tax rates, improving local services, simplifying or streamlining regulation of business, and providing job training to residents of the area.

Describes areas to which the Secretary must give preference in selecting nominated areas for designation as enterprise zones.

Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress every four years on the effects of such enterprise zones' designation in accomplishing the purposes of this Act.

Subtitle B: Federal Income Tax Incentives - Part I: Credits for Employers and Employees - Allows employers located in enterprise zones a nonrefundable income tax credit for qualified increased employment expenditures and employment of the disadvantaged. Sets the amount of such credit at ten percent of the increase in payroll plus a specified percentage of wages paid to certain disadvantaged workers through the first 20 years of the enterprise zone designation.

Allows a nonrefundable income tax credit to enterprise zone employees for five percent of wages earned. Phases out both credits in the last four years of the enterprise zone designation.

Part II: Credits for Investment in Tangible Property in Enterprise Zones - Allows businesses an additional investment tax credit for investments made in certain enterprise zone construction property located in enterprise zones. Limits the credit to ten percent for new enterprise zone construction property, including rental property. Requires that the property subject to such credit be located in an enterprise zone, be predominantly used in the zone, and be either constructed, reconstructed, renovated, etc. during the period of zone designation or acquired during that period. Requires the recapture of such credit upon the early disposition of the property.

Part III: Nonrecognition of Qualified Enterprise Zone Capital Gain Where Acquisition of Enterprise Zone Business Property - Provides for the nonrecognition of capital gain on the sale of property if, within one year after such sale, the taxpayer acquires qualified replacement property (generally defined as property related to an enterprise zone or to a business within such a zone).

Part IV: Deduction for Purchase of Enterprise Stock - Allows a taxpayer to deduct up to $100,000 of the aggregate amount paid for the purchase of enterprise stock on the original issue of such stock by a qualified issuer.

Requires that the gain from the disposition of the stock be treated as ordinary income. Includes recapture provisions.

Part V: Rules Relating to Private Activity Bonds - Provides that limitations on the cost recovery deductions for property financed with tax-exempt bonds shall not apply to enterprise zone property. Provides that the termination of the small issue exemption shall not apply to bonds whose proceeds are used to finance facilities in enterprise zones. Modifies certain small issue volume limitations with respect to enterprise zone facilities.

Part VI: Ordinary Loss Deduction for Securities of Enterprise Zone Business Which Become Worthless - Permits an ordinary loss deduction for securities of enterprise zone businesses that become worthless during the taxable year.

Part VII: Increase in Research Credit for Research Conducted in Enterprise Zones - Increases from 20 to 37 1/2 percent the tax credit for increasing research conducted in enterprise zones.

Part VIII: Sense of the Congress with Respect to Tax Simplification - Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Secretary of the Treasury should simplify the administration and enforcement of any provision of the Internal Revenue Code affected by this Act.

Part IX: Regulations - Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to issue regulations to carry out the provisions of this Act not later than six months after the date of enactment.

Subtitle C: Regulatory Flexibility - Revises the definition of "small entity" for purposes of the analysis of regulatory functions to include qualified business, government, and nonprofit enterprises operating within enterprise zones.

Authorizes Federal agencies, upon request by a designating government, to waive or modify rules and regulations pertaining to the implementation of projects or activities within an enterprise zone. Requires agencies to approve the request if the resulting benefits of job creation, community development, or economic revitalization outweigh the public interest in retaining the rule unchanged.

Disallows waiver or modification of a rule that would directly violate a statutory requirement or present a danger to the public health and safety.

Amends the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act to direct the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to promote the coordination of all enterprise zone programs and to consolidate all periodic reports required under such programs into one summary report.

Subtitle D: Establishment of Foreign-Trade Zones in Enterprise Zones - Requires the Foreign-Trade Zone Board to consider on a priority basis and to expedite the processing of applications for the establishment of foreign-trade zones within enterprise zones. Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to give priority to, and expedite applications for, the establishment of ports of entry necessary to establish such zones. States that, to the maximum extent practicable, foreign-trade zones should be established within enterprise zones.

Title III: Trade Provisions - Subtitle A: Expanded Trade Negotiating Authority - Directs the President to begin negotiations with Mexico, the Caribbean Basin countries, and Canada to establish a North American free trade area. Requires any agreement reached through such negotiations to be reciprocal and to provide mutual reductions in trade barriers.

Authorizes the President to enter into bilateral and multilateral trade agreements with foreign countries to establish expanded trade areas. Requires any agreement to ensure a mutual and reciprocal reduction of tariff and nontariff trade barriers.

Authorizes the President to enter into trade agreements with any developing country for the purpose of establishing expanded trade areas and ultimately promoting a reciprocal reduction in trade barriers. Requires such agreements to provide for a gradual (within five years) reduction or elimination of tariff and nontariff trade barriers by the developing country. Authorizes the President to enter into such an agreement only if specified determinations are made. Requires termination or suspension of the agreement if the developing country fails to carry out its obligations under the agreement.

Authorizes the President to enter into any multilateral trade agreement resulting from the Uruguay round of trade negotiations conducted under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Authorizes the President to exclude from any agreements negotiated under this title any article if such exclusion is necessary to achieve an agreement for an expanded trade area.

Sets forth the requirements for implementation of trade agreements entered into under this title, including congressional oversight provisions.

Subtitle B: Elimination of Unfair Trade Practices and Barriers to Trade - Requires the President, upon the determination that a foreign country consistently engages in unfair trade practices identified in a specified report, to: (1) suspend or terminate any negotiations with such country under Subtitle A if insufficient progress is being made in obtaining an agreement to expand trade; (2) initiate negotiations with any other country whose exports compete with the exports of such country in order to establish an expanded trade area with the other country; or (3) expedite any existing negotiations under Subtitle A with any other country whose exports compete with the exports of such country in order to establish an expanded trade area with the other country.

Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to require the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to conduct an annual study concerning enumerated issues relating to both domestic and foreign trade barriers and their effect on U.S. commerce.

Subtitle C: Anti-Protectionism and Trade Promotion - Requires the Director of the Congressional Budget Office to prepare for each bill or joint resolution reported by any congressional committee that may affect international trade an estimate of its costs and effects with respect to U.S. consumers. Requires these estimates to be submitted to the appropriate committees and to be included in their reports. Declares that it shall not be in order for either House of the Congress to consider any bill or joint resolution if the committee report does not contain such estimate.

Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to submit annually to the USTR, a list, by country, of current loan disbursements and any loan applications that are likely to be brought before loan review committees of multilateral development banks during the calendar year. Requires the USTR to identify the foreign countries on that list that take actions or maintain policies that restrict the sale of U.S. products in their markets or provide an unfair economic advantage for their products over U.S. products. Requires the Secretary and the USTR jointly to develop recommendations of trade liberalization actions for these countries. Directs the Secretary to instruct the U.S. executive director of each multilateral development bank and of the International Monetary Fund to: (1) oppose loans to any country on the list that refuses to accept the trade liberalization recommendations; and (2) oppose any "drawing" of any approved loan by such a country if it has failed to carry out the trade liberalization recommendations developed as a condition of the loan.

Subtitle D: Provisions Relating to Intellectual Property, Etc. - Part I: Countries that Deny Adequate and Effective Protection - Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to require the USTR to publish annually: (1) a list identifying foreign countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or deny fair market access to U.S. persons who rely upon intellectual property protection; and (2) a list of the identified countries that the USTR determines to be countries that have the most onerous policies or practices in this regard and that are not entering into good faith negotiations or making significant progress to provide intellectual property protection. Provides for deletions and additions to the listing and for publication in the Federal Register of the identified countries.

Part II: Protection under Tariff Act - Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to include as unfair methods of competition and unfair import practices, but only in connection with products of already-established U.S. industries, the importation or sale of: (1) articles whose form or manufacturing process infringes a valid U.S. patent or trademark; or (2) a semiconductor chip product that infringes a U.S. registered mask work.

Permits persons aggrieved by unfair import trade practices to petition the International Trade Commission to issue an order to exclude the article in question from entry into the United States during investigation. Increases civil monetary penalties for violations of Commission cease-and-desist orders. Provides for injunctions and for a general exclusion of an article from entry in cases when an alleged violator fails to answer a complaint or respond to an investigation. Permits the Commission, subject to notice and hearing requirements, to order the forfeiture of articles that violate proper import trade practices.