Text: H.R.3981 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

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HR 3981 IH
102d CONGRESS
1st Session
 H. R. 3981
To authorize the Secretary of Commerce to establish a pilot program to promote
United States goods and services through United States Commercial Centers.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
November 26, 1991
Mr. LEVIN of Michigan (for himself, Mr. MCGRATH, Mr. GEPHARDT, Mr. DURBIN,
Mr. HOUGHTON, Mrs. COLLINS  of Illinois, Mr. WOLPE, Mr. ACKERMAN, Mr. ANTHONY,
Mr. BOEHLERT, Mr. BRYANT, Mr. CARDIN, Mr. CARPER, Mr. DORGAN  of North Dakota,
Mr. FLAKE, Mr. GILMAN, Mr. GRANDY, Mr. GREEN, Mr. GUARINI, Mr. HOCHBRUECKNER,
Ms. HORN, Mr. JONTZ, Ms. KAPTUR,  Mrs. KENNELLY, Mr. MATSUI, Mr. MCMILLAN
of North Carolina, Mr. MINETA, Mr. MOODY, Mr. OWENS  of  Utah, Mr. PEASE,
Mr. REGULA, Mr. RUSSO, Mr. SARPALIUS, Mr. SPRATT, Mr. STARK, Mr. TRAXLER,
Mr. VISCLOSKY, Mr. WISE, Mr. WOLF, Mr. WYDEN, and Mr. ZELIFF) introduced
the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
A BILL
To authorize the Secretary of Commerce to establish a pilot program to promote
United States goods and services through United States Commercial Centers.
  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
  This Act may be cited as the `United States Commercial Center Pilot Program
  Act of 1991'.
SEC. 2. UNITED STATES COMMERCIAL CENTERS.
  (a) ESTABLISHMENT- The Secretary of Commerce shall establish, as a pilot
  program, a United States Commercial Center (hereinafter in this section
  referred to as a `Center') in one Baltic country, in one of the former
  Soviet republics in addition to a Baltic country, in one country in Asia,
  and in one country in Latin America.
  (b) PURPOSES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE CENTERS- The purposes of the Centers
  shall be to provide additional resources for the promotion of exports of
  United States goods and services to the host countries, by--
  (1) familiarizing United States businesses with the industries, markets, and
  customs of the host countries, thus facilitating commercial ties and trade;
  (2) collecting and publishing economic and market data with respect to
  the host countries;
  (3) with respect to the Baltic Republics and the former Soviet Republic,
  providing assistance in the coordination and delivery of technical assistance
  by the United States  Government to the governments and business enterprises
  of the host countries;
  (4) providing, on  a user-fee basis, first-stage technical, legal,
  clerical, language translation, and administrative assistance to United
  States businesses seeking to do business in the host countries; and
  (5) in other ways promoting exports of United States goods and services
  to the host countries.
  (c) SPECIFIC SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED- To carry out its objectives, each
  Center shall make available the following (on a user-fee basis):
  (1) BUSINESS FACILITIES- Business facilities for use by United States
  businesses, including exhibition space, conference rooms, office space
  (including telephones and other basic office equipment), and, where warranted
  by impeding deficiencies in the public system, high quality international
  telecommunications facilities,
  (2) BUSINESS SERVICES- Business support services for United States
  businesses, including language translation services, clerical services,
  and a commercial library containing a comprehensive collection of reference
  materials covering United States and host country industries and markets, and
  (3) COMMERCIAL LAW INFORMATION SERVICES- Commercial law information services
  for United States businesses and host country agencies and businesses,
  including--
  (A) a clearing house for information regarding the commercial codes of
  the United States and the host country;
  (B) assistance and recommendations regarding the modernization of the host
  country's commercial code and administrative procedures as they affect
  United States trade;
  (C) publications to assist United States businesses; and
  (D) legal referral services.
  (d) OTHER TRADE PROMOTION ACTIVITIES- Each Center shall also promote United
  States export trade by--
  (1) facilitating contacts between buyers, sellers, bankers, traders,
  distributors, and necessary government officials from the United States
  and the host country;
  (2) coordinating trade missions; and
  (3) assisting with applications, contracts, and import and export clearances.
  (e) STAFFING OF CENTERS-
  (1) IN GENERAL- Each center established under this section shall be staffed
  by members of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service, other
  employees of the Department of Commerce, employees of other appropriate
  Executive branch agencies, and Foreign Trade Fellows appointed pursuant
  to paragraph 3.
  (2) REIMBURSEMENT OF OTHER AGENCIES- Employees of Executive branch agencies,
  other than the Department of Commerce, shall be assigned or detailed to
  a Center on a reimbursement basis.
  (3) FOREIGN TRADE FELLOWS- The Secretary of Commerce shall appoint United
  States citizens as Foreign Trade Fellows to assist United States Government
  employees in staffing the Centers established under this section. The
  Secretary shall actively recruit individuals to serve as Foreign Trade
  Fellows from United States businesses, trade associations, labor unions, and
  the academic community. In order to facilitate the service of individuals
  (such as those from the academic community and smaller businesses) as
  Foreign Trade Fellows, the Secretary may make grants or provide stipends
  to Foreign Trade Fellows and may reimburse them for expenses they incur
  as the result of their service as Foreign Trade Fellows.
  (f) BUSINESS CONSORTIA- In Commercial Center host countries in which the
  Secretary of Commerce deems it appropriate, the Secretary of Commerce
  shall assist U.S. businesses in forming industry consortia designed
  to establish a business presence and promote U.S. exports in each of
  those countries. Such consortia will be formed by non-profit U.S. trade
  or business organizations and will represent the export interests of a
  particular domestic industry. The Secretary may give grants as seed money
  for these consortia, which will establish offices in the cities in which
  the Commercial Centers are located. The consortia will provide promotional,
  marketing and trade facilitation services to its members.
  (g) FREE MARKET BUSINESS EXCHANGE PROGRAM- With respect to the Baltic
  countries and the other former Soviet Republic, the Secretary shall
  establish an exchange program in which citizens of the countries in which
  the Commercial Centers are located shall be chosen for a fellowship
  with an American business or trade association participating in the
  Foreign Trade Fellows Program. The citizens chosen shall work with the
  participating U.S. businesses in the United States, the purpose of which
  is for the citizens of the Baltic country or former Soviet republic to
  learn business practices and free-market concepts and to take advantage
  of technical assistance available at the U.S. business.
  (h) CENTER FACILITIES AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT
  OF COMMERCE OPERATIONS IN HOST COUNTRIES-
  (1) PHYSICAL ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE CENTERS- The Secretary of Commerce
  shall locate each Commercial Center in the primary commercial city of the
  host country. In the case of the Baltic countries, one Commercial Center
  will serve all three countries. The Secretary shall acquire office space,
  exhibition space and other facilities and equipment that are necessary for
  each Center to perform its functions. To the extent feasible, each Center
  shall be located in the central commercial district of the host city.
  (2) CONSOLIDATION OF DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE OPERATIONS IN HOST COUNTRIES-
  For the purpose of obtaining maximum effectiveness and efficiency and to the
  extent consistent with the purposes of the Centers, the Secretary of Commerce
  is authorized and encouraged to place all personnel of the Department of
  Commerce who are assigned to the city in which a Center is located in the
  same facilities as those in which the Center conducts its activities. The
  Secretary is authorized and encouraged to integrate activities of the
  Department of Commerce in the host country. This paragraph shall not be
  construed to authorize inefficient duplicative activities or facilities.
  (i) ASSISTANCE TO BUSINESSES AND GOVERNMENTS OF HOST COUNTRIES- For the
  purpose of stimulating and improving the commercial opportunities of
  United States businesses in the host countries, the Secretary of Commerce
  is authorized and encouraged to utilize, where applicable, the resources
  of the Centers, including Trade Fellows, to provide technical assistance
  to the business enterprises and governments of the host countries. The
  determination to provide such technical assistance, as well as the type,
  quantity, schedule, and means of assistance, shall be made in cooperation
  and consultation with the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the
  Agency for International Development, and such other Executive branch
  officials as the President may designate. In the case of the Baltic
  countries and the former Soviet republic, the President shall appoint a
  Coordinator of Technical Assistance, whose duties shall be to coordinate
  the rendering of technical assistance from both the business community
  and governmental programs, including, but not limited to, the Overseas
  Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Trade and Development Program,
  the Agency for International Development and the Export-Import Bank.
  (j) USE OF MARKET DEVELOPMENT COOPERATOR PROGRAM- The Secretary of Commerce
  shall, to the greatest extent feasible, use the Market Development Cooperator
  Program established under section 2303 of the Export Enhancement Act of
  1988 (15 U.S.C. 4723) to assist in carrying out the purposes of the Centers
  established under this section.
  (k) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There is authorized to be appropriated
  to the Secretary of Commerce $23,000,000 to carry out this section. Funds
  made available under this subsection may be used for the acquisition of
  real property.
  (l) REPORTS TO CONGRESS- The Secretary of Commerce shall submit to the
  Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the
  Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate--
  (1) not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act,
  a report on the establishment and operations of the Centers provided under
  this section; and,
  (2) not later than 1 year after such date of the enactment, a report on
  the status, activities, and effectiveness of the Centers established under
  this section.
The report under paragraph (2) shall include any recommendations with respect
to the pilot program established under this section.