Summary: H.R.1594 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (07/30/1990)

Customs and Trade Act of 1990 - Title I: Trade Agency Authorizations, Customs User Fees, and Other Provisions - Subtitle A: Trade Agency Authorizations for Fiscal Years 1991 and 1992 - Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to authorize appropriations for FY 1991 and 1992 to the U.S. International Trade Commission. Prohibits the use of any appropriated sums for the making of any special study, investigation, or report that is requested by a Federal agency, unless such agency reimburses the Commission for the cost.

Amends the Customs Procedural Reform and Simplification Act of 1978 to authorize appropriations for FY 1991 and 1992 to the U.S. Customs Service for: (1) noncommercial and commercial operations; and (2) the air interdiction program.

Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to authorize appropriations for FY 1991 and 1992 to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

Amends the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement Act of 1988 to authorize appropriations to the Office of the USTR for FY 1991 and 1992 to pay the U.S. share of expenses for binational panels and extraordinary challenge committees convened pursuant to such Agreement.

Subtitle B: Customs User Fees - Amends the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 to require the Secretary of the Treasury to collect a customs user fee for: (1) the processing of merchandise that is formally entered or released during any fiscal year (not to exceed $400 or be less than $21); and (2) the processing of merchandise that is informally entered or released (except at a centralized hub facility, an express consignment carrier facility, or a small airport) either manually or automatically, or prepared or not prepared by customs personnel. Prohibits such fees from being charged with respect to the arrival of a railroad car (currently, a railroad car that is part of a train) which originates and terminates in the same country and meets other specified conditions.

Prohibits such fees from being charged for specified imported articles.

Applies such fee, in the case of U.S. agricultural products processed and packed in a foreign trade zone, only to the value of material used to make the container for such merchandise, if such merchandise is subject to entry and the container is of a kind normally used for packing such merchandise.

Prohibits such fees from being charged for Israeli products if an exemption is implemented under this Act.

Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to reimburse directly from such fees each appropriation for amounts paid out for inspectional overtime and all preclearance services to users not required to pay fees, and for salaries for customs inspection personnel and equipment that enhance services for fee payers. Requires an annual report to specified congressional committees. Extends the authority to charge such fees through 1991. Limits to a specified amount the fee charged for each day's importations to the same importer from the same exporter of merchandise imported under a certain temporary monthly entry program.

Exempts Israeli products from such fees as of the date on which the USTR publishes in the Federal Register a determination that Israel has provided reciprocal concessions.

Requires the Commissioner of Customs to develop and implement: (1) accounting systems that determine and report the allocations made of Customs Service personnel and other resources among the operational functions of the Service, such as passenger processing, merchandise processing, and drug enforcement; and (2) specified surveys, estimates, and calculations concerning customs user fees.

Requires the Comptroller General to submit to specified congressional committees a report concerning customs user fees collected on merchandise that is entered by mail.

Subtitle C: Miscellaneous Customs Provisions - Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to make the Customs Forfeiture Fund available for equitable sharing payments to other Federal agencies, State and local law enforcement agencies, and foreign countries. Limits any such payments to no more than the value of the property seized or forfeited at the time of disposition. Requires deposit of all forfeited currency in such Fund.

Requires the Commissioner of Customs to transmit to the Congress a report for the previous fiscal year containing: (1) a complete set of audited financial statements; and (2) an analysis of income and expenses for cases closed showing the revenue received or lost by property category. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1991 and 1992.

Increases from $100,000 to $500,000 the maximum value of property subject to administrative seizure and forfeiture. Requires the appropriate customs officer to publish, for at least three successive weeks, notice of the seizure of monetary instruments and the intention to forfeit and sell them. Requires the Commissioner to report to the Congress on the total dollar value of uncontested seizures of monetary instruments valued over $100,000 which have not been deposited into the Fund within 120 days of seizure.

Requires the Commissioner of Customs to submit to specified congressional committees a report containing estimates of the: (1) number of violations of the U.S. trade, customs, and illegal drug control laws during the fiscal year; and (2) incidence of such violations among the U.S. ports of entry and customs regions. Requires the Commissioner to prepare a list of those laws for which the Customs Service has enforcement responsibility. Requires the Commissioner to develop a nationally uniform enforcement strategy for dealing with such violations. Makes confidential the contents of such reports.

Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to: (1) assess the advisability of expanding the use of preclearance operations by the United States Customs Service at foreign airports; and (2) evaluate various means by which persons whose merchandise is damaged during customs examinations may seek compensation from the Service. Requires the Commissioner of Customs to keep accurate statistics on such damage to merchandise.

Subtitle D: Miscellaneous Provisions - Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to make Czechoslovakia and East Germany eligible for trade benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences.

Subjects to Congressional disapproval by joint (currently, simple) resolution any presidential recommendations for extended waiver authority with respect to the granting of nondiscriminatory treatment (most-favored-nation treatment) to nonmarket economy countries. Requires the approval of the Congress by joint resolution (currently, concurrent) before bilateral commercial agreements and presidential proclamations granting nondiscriminatory treatment can take effect. Makes similar changes with respect to the approval of certain presidential reports. Sets forth procedures relating to conference reports in the Senate.

Amends the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to require the initial members of the Competitiveness Policy Council to be appointed by enactment of this Act.

Prohibits a Council member from serving as an agent for a foreign principal. Requires the Council to submit its annual report to the President on March 1. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1991 and 1992.

Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to revise provisions relating to the review by a binational panel of certain determinations in countervailing duty and antidumping duty proceedings involving the United States and Canada.

Authorizes the administering authority or the International Trade Commission (ITC) under specified circumstances in a binational review panel proceeding, to restrict to authorized persons access to certain privileged information under a protective order. Makes various changes to the term "authorized persons."

Makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly receive proprietary information which is under a protective order.

Amends the U.S.-Canada Free-Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1988 to authorize the U.S. Secretariat to use only for such purposes any funds provided by the Canadian Secretariat, whenever a binational panel review is requested, to serve a copy of such request on all persons who would otherwise be entitled under Canadian law to commence procedures for judicial review of a final antidumping or countervailing duty determination made by a Canadian investigating authority.

Amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to declare that the shipment to Canada of certain articles on or after a certain date under the U.S.-Canada Free-Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1988, shall not constitute an exportation unless it is a drawback (refund) eligible good.

Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to require correspondence, private letters of reprimand, settlement agreements and other documents and files relating to violations or possible violations of administrative protective orders issued by the ITC in connection with such investigations to be treated as information specifically exempted from disclosure by statute. Makes "customer names" nondisclosable before an investigation is suspended or terminated, or unless an administrative protective order is issued.

Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to extend the period of time that the Secretary of Labor must prepare for the Congress a report on supplemental wage allowance demonstration projects under the worker adjustment assistance program.

Requires the Secretaries of the Treasury and of Commerce and the ITC to take specified actions to implement certain commission recommendations. Requires the Commissioner of Customs to report to specified congressional committees on the effectiveness of the U.S. Customs Service in monitoring and seizing drug paraphernalia.

Requires the President to impose economic sanctions against Burma if specified conditions are not met.

Sets forth provisions relating to whether temporary 1990 census services constitute "Federal service".

Authorizes the President to grant nondiscriminatory treatment (most-favored-nation treatment) to East German products.

Title II: Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery - Subtitle A: Short Title and Findings - Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Expansion Act of 1990 - Subtitle B: Amendments to the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act and Related Provisions - Part 1: Amendments to Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act - Amends the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (the Act) to repeal the termination date for duty-free treatment of beneficiary countries (thus making duty-free treatment permanent).

Authorizes the President to reduce the duty rate on handbags, luggage, flat goods, work gloves, and leather wearing apparel that are the product of a beneficiary country and were not designated on August 5, 1983, as eligible articles under the Generalized System of Preferences.

Prohibits the President from designating any country as a beneficiary country if it has not taken steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights to its workers.

Requires the President, on or before October 1, 1993, and the close of each three-year period thereafter, to submit to the Congress a report regarding the operation of this Act.

Grants duty-free treatment to products of Puerto Rico if: (1) the article is imported directly from a beneficiary country; (2) such article was advanced in value or improved in condition in a beneficiary country; and (3) any materials added to such article in a beneficiary country are a product of a beneficiary country or the United States.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that efforts should be taken to improve the ability of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and Belize to benefit from the Act.

Part 2: Amendments to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule and Other Provisions Affecting CBI Beneficiary Countries - Amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to grant duty-free treatment to articles (not over $600 in value) acquired in a beneficiary country. Increases from $800 to $1200 the personal exemption from customs duties of articles acquired in the U.S. insular possessions and from other countries.

Prohibits any article (except a textile article, apparel article, or petroleum or petroleum product) from being treated as a foreign article, or subject to duty, if: (1) it is assembled in whole of U.S. components or processed in whole or ingredients (other than water) that are a product of the United States in a beneficiary country; and (2) neither the U.S. components or ingredients, after exportation from the United States, nor the article itself, before importation into the United States, enters the foreign commerce of any foreign country other than a beneficiary country.

Requires the ITC to investigate whether revised rules of origin for products of beneficiary countries are appropriate. Requires the ITC to submit to the President and the Congress a report containing the results of such investigation, including any recommendations.

Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to require the ITC, when making determinations as to material injury with respect to antidumping and countervailing duty cases, to assess cumulatively the volume and effect of imports from a beneficiary country under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act with respect to imports of like products from other beneficiary countries.

Amends the Steel Trade Liberalization Program Implementation Act to extend, indefinitely, the duty-free treatment of ethyl alcohol produced by an insular possession or a beneficiary country.

Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to require the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations providing for the duty-free treatment of articles that are wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of beneficiary countries.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code (relating to investment in Caribbean Basin countries) to require Puerto Rico to ensure that a specified amount of qualified Caribbean Basin country investments are made each year.

Subtitle C: Scholarship Assistance and Tourism Promotion - Directs the Administrator of the Agency for International Development to establish a scholarship assistance program to provide scholarships to enable socially and economically disadvantaged students from eligible countries in the Caribbean and Central America to study in the United States.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that increased tourism should be developed in the Caribbean Basin region as a central part of the Caribbean Basin Initiative program.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to complete the tourism development study of the Caribbean Basin begun in 1986.

Directs the Commissioner of Customs to implement a pilot preclearance program during FY 1991 and 1992 to assess the extent to which the availability of preclearance operations can assist in the development of tourism in the Caribbean Basin. Prohibits the commencement of such operations unless the Commissioner of Customs and the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization submit to the Congress a report regarding such program.

Subtitle D: Miscellaneous Provisions - Authorizes the President to designate Nicaragua as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preferences of the Trade Act of 1974.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that in order to facilitate trade and economic development of beneficiary countries, the Secretary of Agriculture should coordinate with the Agency for International Development the development of programs to improve the agricultural trade between such countries and the United States by improving their transportation and cargo handling infrastructure.

Urges the President to review the merits of extending trade benefits to the Andean region countries.

Title III: Tariff Provisions - Subtitle A: Temporary Suspensions and Reductions in Duties - Part 1: New Duty Suspensions and Temporary Reductions - Amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to suspend, through December 31, 1992, the duty on: (1) castor oil and its fractions; (2) specified chemicals; (3) certain dyes; (4) certain modeling pastes used in dentistry; (5) theatrical, ballet, and operatic scenery properties and sets; (6) wicker products; (7) certain plastic web sheeting; (8) certain protective sports apparel; (9) certain in-line roller skate boots; (10) self-folding telescopic shaft, collapsible umbrellas; (11) certain glass bulbs; (12) certain glass fibers; (13) aluminum luggage frames; (14) molten-salt-cooled acrylic acid reactors; (15) impact line printers which use band drive mechanisms and can achieve printing speeds of at least 1,300 lines per minute; (16) certain machines for use in the manufacture of wheels for bicycles, and on certain bicycle parts; (17) certain parts of generators for use on aircraft; (18) certain magnetic video tape recordings; (19) certain infant nursery monitors and intercoms; (20) certain self-contained fluid filled submarine cable; (21) certain piston engines; (22) certain furniture and seats; (23) certain Christmas ornaments; (24) certain three-dimensional cameras; and (25) certain wood veneers.

Provides a duty, through December 31, 1992, or upon a specified time that the President may modify the duty rate, equal to the column one duty rate under the Tariff Schedules of the United States on certain jams, pastes and purees, and fruit jellies.

Suspends, through September 30, 1991, the duty on specified chemicals.

Reduces, through December 31, 1992, the duty on: (1) a specified chemical; (2) certain gripping narrow fabrics; (3) certain drinking glasses; (4) graded semiprecious stones (except rock crystal); (5) certain paper products; (6) time-recorders that are battery or AC powered with opto-electronic display only; (7) frozen carrots; and (8) karate pants and belts.

Suspends, through a specified date, the duty on certain motor vehicle parts.

Grants: (1) duty-free treatment, through September 30, 1990, to the personal effects and equipment of alien participants, their families, and officials involved in the 1990 Goodwill Games in Washington State; and (2) duty-free treatment, through September 30, 1993, to the personal effects and equipment of participants, their families, and officials involved in the 1993 World University Games in Buffalo, New York.

Part 2: Existing Temporary Duty Supsension - Extends, through December 31, 1992, the existing suspension of duty on: (1) specified chemicals; (2) crude feathers and down; (3) fresh cantaloupes; (4) hot red peppers and salt; (5) certain bicycle parts; (6) certain wools; (7) certain narrow weaving machines; (8) certain wool carding and spinning machinery; (9) certain knitting machines designed for sweater strip or garment length knitting; (10) certain lace braiding machines; (11) machines designed for heat-set, stretch texturing of continuous man-made fibers; (12) knitting needles; (13) needlecraft display models, primarily hand stitched, of completed mass-produced kits; (14) graphite; (15) photographic color couplers and coupler intermediates; and (16) stuffed dolls and doll skins.

Extends, through October 31, 1996, the existing suspension of duty on certain knitwear fabricated in Guam.

Grants, through December 31, 1992, duty-free treatment to corned beef in airtight containers.

Provides a duty on spunlaced or bonded fiber disposable surgical gowns and drapes of manmade fibers through December 31, 1992, except Canadian goods through December 31, 1998.

Extends, through December 31, 1992, the existing suspension of duty on: (1) certain toy jewelry valued not over five cents; (2) certain parts and accessories of indirect process electrostatic copying machines; (3) certain hosiery knitting machines; (4) certain jacquard cards; (5) certain glass-ceramics kitchenware; (6) umbrella frames and parts; (7) terfenadone; and (8) toys representing animals or nonhuman creatures.

Terminates the existing suspension of duty on c-amines.

Subtitle B: Other Tariff and Miscellaneous Provisions - Part 1: Tariff Classification and Other Technical Amendments - Amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to exempt molasses containing more than six percent non-sugar solids.

Makes changes with respect to the tariff treatment of certain: (1) woven fabrics of carded wool or carded fine animal hair; (2) woven fabrics of combed wool or of combed fine animal hair; and (3) gauzes.

Provides, for purposes of the tariff treatment of certain leather handbags, that any articles of textile fabric impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics (whether compact or cellular) shall be regarded as having an outer surface of textile material or of plastic sheeting, depending upon whether and to the extent the textile constituent or the plastic constituent comprises the exterior surface of the article.

Grants duty-free treatment to ice and field hockey gloves. Provides a duty on other gloves, mittens, and mitts, specially designed for use in sports.

Grants duty-free treatment to chipper knife steel.

Sets a duty on cantilever brakes for bicycles.

Changes wheel size specifications with respect to 26-inch bicycles.

Excludes from import restrictions certain blended syrups if imported by a foreign trade zone user, to the extent that the annual quantity imported into the customs territory does not contain an amount of sugar of nondomestic origin greater than that authorized by the Foreign Trade Zones Board for processing by such user during FY 1985.

Declares that metal articles manufactured in the United States and exported and returned to the United States shall be subject, notwithstanding a specified exemption to duties, to all other duties and restrictions imposed under the Tariff Act of 1930 or the Trade Act of 1974.

Provides a duty on certain brooms that are wholly or in part made of broom corn.

States that the duty provided on artificial flowers made of man-made fibers applies generally to artificial flowers, to foliage and fruit, and parts and products when made of man-made fibers.

Part 2. Miscellaneous Provisions - Amends the Foreign Trade Zones Act to delay until December 31, 1992 (currently, January 1, 1991) the exemption from customs laws of bicycle component parts that are not re-exported from the United States.

Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to grant duty-free treatment to bi-level rail passenger cars that are: (1) entered into the United States after March 14, 1988, and before January 1, 1989, and classified under the Tariff Schedules of the United States; and (2) designed for, and for the use of, the Florida Department of Transportation.

Provides for the reliquidation (refund) of certain entries made under the Tariff Act of 1930.

Provides that certain digital processing units for automated data processing machines that are imported into the United States after January 16, 1986, and before July 2, 1987, shall be liquidated as duty free upon proper request filed with the appropriate customs officer.

Declares that a certain protest relating to the entry of specified articles shall be deemed to have been filed with the appropriate customs officer.

Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to require a drawback (refund) to be paid on the export of articles which are manufactured in the United States with the use of imported crude petroleum products and are stored in common storage with articles of the same kind and quality, provided that specified requirements are met.

Amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to provide a duty on agglomerate marble tiles.

Reduces the duty rate on certain components of ionization smoke detectors to the same rate applied to ionization smoke detectors as a whole.

Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to admit duty-free a Phillips Medical Systems 4 tesla nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer for the use of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Provides for a refund of the duty paid on such spectrometer if liquidation has become final.

Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to declare that duties imposed under such Act shall not apply to: (1) the cost of equipment or expense of repairs made in a foreign country with respect to LASH (Lighter Aboard Ship) barges documented under U.S. law and used as cargo containters; or (2) the cost of spare repair parts for installation on such vessels in the United States or in a foreign country, but only if the appropriate duty is paid upon first entry of each such spare part purchased in, or imported from, a foreign country.

Authorizes the manufacture of any article from denatured distilled spirits (currently, domestic denatured distilled spirits) which have been withdrawn free of tax from a distilled spirits plant in a foreign trade zone. Authorizes the use of any such spirits in the manufacture of medicines, medicinal preparations, food products, flavors, or flavoring extracts, which are unfit for beverage purposes, in such zone. Declares such products to be eligible for drawback (refund) of duties.

Increases, through December 31, 1992, the duty on ethyl tertiary butyl ether.

Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to permit transportation through the United States of lottery materials produced in Canada. Prohibits the transportation of such materials in the personal baggage of a traveler.

Provides for the reliquidation (refund) of certain forgings entries made at Port of Portland, Oregon, under the Tariff Act of 1930.

Reliquidates as duty-free, upon request filed with the appropriate customs officer, a certain extracorporeal shock wave lithotripter.

Provides for the reliquidation (refund) of certain methanol entries made at New York, New York, under the Tariff Act of 1930.

Grants duty-free treatment to and provides for a refund of duties on frozen green beans or off the cob whole kernel sweet corn that is imported into the United States after December 31, 1989, and before May 1, 1990, and that is a product of a foreign country which receives nondiscriminatory (most-favored-nation) trade treatment.

Provides for the reliquidation (refund) of certain photographic and motion picture film, magnetic video tape, and specified visual aids entries under the Tariff Schedules of the United States.

Provides for the reliquidation (refund) of certain entries made after September 30, 1990, and before April 1, 1991, under the Tariff Act of 1930.

Provides for the reliquidation (refund), upon request filed with the appropriate customs officer after September 30, 1990, and before April 1, 1991, of corned beef in airtight containers entered after December 31, 1989, and before October 1, 1990.

Provides for staged rate reductions for certain woven fabrics and gauze.

Title IV: Exports of Unprocessed Timber - Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 - Prohibits persons: (1) acquiring unprocessed timber from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian from exporting such timber unless it is surplus to the needs of U.S. timber manufacturing facilities; and (2) from purchasing from a Federal agency unprocessed timber from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian for substitution for exported unprocessed timber from private lands, with specified exceptions.

Directs the Secretary to issue an order prohibiting the export of unprocessed timber from public lands in specified amounts. Requires the Secretary, in conjunction with the Secretaries of Agriculture and of the Interior, to report to the Congress on the effects of the reallocation of public lands timber resources to the domestic timber processing sector. Authorizes the President to suspend such prohibition if it is determined to be inconsistent with any treaty or trade agreement to which the United States is a party. Sets forth reporting requirements for purchasers and transferors of unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian.

Requires the Secretaries of Agriculture and of the Interior to report to the Congress on the disposition of unprocessed timber harvested from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian, and any recommendations concerning indirect substitution of such timber for exported timber harvested from private lands.

Sets forth civil and administrative penalties for violations of this Act.

Authorizes appropriations.

Requires the Secretary of Commerce, in conjunction with the Secretaries of Agriculture and of the Interior, to study for export from the United States, for a two-year period, of unprocessed hardwood timber harvested from Federal or public lands east of the 100th meridian. Requires such Secretaries to submit a report to specified congressional committees.