Summary: H.R.1504 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1504. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (04/30/1997)

Customs Enforcement and Market Access Act of 1997 - Directs the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), whenever the United States negotiates a protocol for accession of a country to the World Trade Organization (WTO), to negotiate for inclusion in that protocol: (1) provisions for effective market access to that country's domestic markets for U.S. textile and apparel products; and (2) provisions allowing the suspension or revocation of paragraph 14 (relating to increasing import levels based on growth rates) of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, if the country has failed to enforce such market access provisions. Requires negotiation of bilateral agreements containing similar provisions with countries that are not WTO members.

(Sec. 3) Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to direct the USTR to identify annually, report to the Congress, and publish in the Federal Register the names of priority foreign countries that deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons producing or selling textile or apparel products.

(Sec. 4) Establishes in the Treasury a Textile Global Competitiveness Research Fund, consisting in part of fines levied under this Act, and whose amounts shall be available: (1) to the Office of Textiles, Apparel, and Consumer Goods of the Department of Commerce to provide funds for the American Textile Partnership the Textile-Clothing Technology Center, the National Textile Center, and the Garment Industry Development Center; (2) for adjustment assistance for firms in the textile and apparel industry that have been adversely affected by textile and apparel imports; and (3) to the Customs Service for the enforcement of laws governing trade in textile and apparel goods.

(Sec. 5) Directs the USTR to take necessary steps to negotiate a quota agreement with any non-WTO country whose exports to the United States exceed $100 million annually, or are creating serious damage or the actual threat of it to the U.S. textile and apparel industry.

States the sense of the Congress that any agreement negotiated with a non-WTO country which already has a textile agreement with the United States should permit imports of textile and apparel products of that country, during each 12-month period, to increase by not more than the percentage of growth in the U.S domestic market for all textile and apparel products in the preceding 12-month period.

Specifies provisions for inclusion in the accession protocol of countries acceding to the WTO.

(Sec. 6) Requires the USTR to ensure that any protocol under negotiation for accession to the WTO of a non-WTO country with a bilateral textile import agreement with the United States, as well as any subsequent agreement, provides for a reduction in the quantity of that country's textile and apparel goods that may be imported into the United States if the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements determines that the bilateral agreement is being circumvented and that inadequate or no measures are being taken by that country to take action against such circumvention.

(Sec. 7) Prescribes specified Customs Service enforcement actions and penalties (including fines, seizure, and forfeiture) for violations of customs laws involving textile and apparel goods.

(Sec. 10) Directs the Commissioner of Customs to establish a Division on Textile Enforcement.

(Sec. 11) Requires withdrawal of preferential tariff or quota treatment (unilateral trade concessions) from the textile and apparel goods of any country: (1) demonstrating a consistent pattern of circumventing textile agreements with United States; (2) refusing to cooperate in investigations; or (3) failing to provide fair and equitable market access for U.S. textile and apparel goods.