Summary: H.R.3283 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House without amendment (07/27/2005)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

United States Trade Rights Enforcement Act - (Sec. 2) Expresses the sense of Congress about making the countervailing duty law under the Tariff Act of 1930 applicable to actions by nonmarket economy countries, and the impact on the U.S. economy of the huge growth in trade with the People's Republic of China (PRC).

(Sec. 3) Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to impose countervailing duties on certain merchandise from nonmarket economy countries.

Revises the definition of countervailable subsidy regarding countervailing duty investigations to provide that with respect to the PRC, if the Secretary of Commerce encounters special difficulties in calculating the amount of subsidy benefits to be conferred, the Secretary may use methodologies for identifying and measuring such subsidy benefits which take into account the possibility that prevailing terms and conditions in China may not always be available as appropriate benchmarks. Requires the administering authority, when applying such methodologies, where practicable, to adjust such prevailing terms and conditions before considering the use of those prevailing outside China.

Requires the Secretary of Commerce, in imposing countervailable duties and subsidies on a class or kind of merchandise of a nonmarket economy country, to ensure that: (1) no countervailable subsidy is double counted in an antidumping order on the same class or kind of merchandise of the country; and (2) the imposition of countervailable duties is consistent with U.S. international obligations.

(Sec. 4) Suspends for three years the requirement that the administering authority direct the Customs Service to allow, at the option of the importer of such merchandise, the posting, until completion of the review, of a bond or security in lieu of a cash deposit for each entry of the subject merchandise (bonding privileges).

Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to report to specified congressional committees: (1) recommendations on whether such suspension should be extended; and (2) assessments of the effectiveness of any administrative measures that have been implemented to address the difficulties giving rise to the suspension.

Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to report to specified congressional committees, with recommendations for additional action, on the major problems experienced in the collection of duties, including fraudulent activities intended to avoid their payment.

(Sec. 5) Requires the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and, as appropriate, the Secretary of Commerce or the Secretary of Agriculture, to ensure that specified steps are taken by the PRC to ensure its compliance with its international trade obligations regarding: (1) intellectual property rights; (2) access for exports of U.S. goods, services, and agriculture; and (3) a required detailed accounting of its subsidies to the World Trade Organization (WTO) by the end of 2005.

Requires the President to report biannually and, as appropriate, monthly to specified congressional committees a description of: (1) the specific steps taken by the PRC to meet such obligations; (2) an analysis of the extent to which PRC officials are attempting in good faith to meet them; and (3) the actions, if any, the President will take to obtain PRC compliance.

Directs the President, if he determines that the PRC has not met each of its specified intellectual property obligations or made significant improvements in protection of intellectual property rights in accordance with its trade obligations, to assign resources necessary to collect evidence of such trade agreement violations for use in dispute settlement proceedings against the PRC in the WTO.

(Sec. 6) Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to report to specified congressional committees on: (1) the definition of currency manipulation; (2) actions of foreign countries that will be considered to be such; (3) how statutory provisions addressing it by U.S. trading partners contained in, and relating to, the Bretton Woods Agreements Act and the Exchange Rates and International Economic Policy Coordination Act of 1988 can be better clarified administratively to provide for improved and more predictable evaluation; and (4) the mechanism adopted by the PRC government to relate its currency to a basket of foreign currencies and the degree to which such application moves the currency closer to a market-based representation of its value.

(Sec. 7) Authorizes appropriations for FY2006-FY2007 for the Office of the USTR.

Expresses the sense of Congress that the enforcement of U.S. rights and of the obligations of U.S. trading partners under trade agreements has gained such significance that the Office of USTR should: (1) determine which of its current positions is most responsible for carrying out these important enforcement duties; and (2) assign that position, in addition to any other title, the title of Chief Enforcement Officer.

(Sec. 8) Authorizes appropriations for FY2006-FY2007 for the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Requires the Commission to study and report to specified congressional committees on trade and economic relations between the United States and the PRC, addressing the PRC's economic policies, including its exchange rate policy, the competitiveness of its industries, the composition and nature of its trade patterns, and other elements impacting U.S. trade account, industry, competitiveness, and employment.

(Sec. 9) Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should: (1) strive to expand membership in the Agreement on Government Procurement of the WTO; (2) ensure that the PRC meets its WTO obligations; (3) seek a commitment from the PRC to maintain its suspension of the implementation of its law on government procurement, pending the conclusion of negotiations to accede to the Agreement; and (4) seek commitments from the PRC and other countries that are not yet members of the Agreement to implement the principles of openness, transparency, fair competition based on merit, nondiscrimination, and accountability in their government procurement as embodied in that Agreement. Urges the President to direct all appropriate U.S. officials to raise these concerns with appropriate PRC officials and other trading partners.