Text: H.R.1278 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (03/01/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1278

To establish the position of Trade Enforcement Officer and a Trade Enforcement Division in the Office of the United States Trade Representative, to require identification of trade enforcement priorities, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 1, 2007

Mr. Camp of Michigan (for himself and Mrs. Jones of Ohio) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means


A BILL

To establish the position of Trade Enforcement Officer and a Trade Enforcement Division in the Office of the United States Trade Representative, to require identification of trade enforcement priorities, and for other purposes.

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 “Trade Prosecutor Act”.

SEC. 2. Establishment of Trade Enforcement Division and position of Trade Enforcement Officer.

(a) Establishment.—Chapter 4 of title I of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2171) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

“SEC. 142. Trade Enforcement Division and Trade Enforcement Officer.

“(a) Establishment of Trade Enforcement Division.—There is established within the Office of the United States Trade Representative a Trade Enforcement Division (in this section referred to as the ‘Division’).

“(b) Establishment of position of Trade Enforcement Officer.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Division shall be headed by a Trade Enforcement Officer.

“(2) APPOINTMENT AND NOMINATION.—The Trade Enforcement Officer shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. As an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate, any nomination of the Trade Enforcement Officer submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent, and referred to a committee, shall be referred to the Committee on Finance.

“(3) RANK.—The Trade Enforcement Officer shall hold office at the pleasure of the President and shall have the rank of Ambassador.

“(c) Functions of Trade Enforcement Officer.—

“(1) PRINCIPAL FUNCTION.—The principal function of the Trade Enforcement Officer shall be to ensure that United States trading partners comply with trade agreements to which the United States is a party.

“(2) ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS.—The Trade Enforcement Officer shall—

“(A) assist the United States Trade Representative in investigating and prosecuting disputes before the World Trade Organization and pursuant to other trade agreements to which the United States is a party;

“(B) assist the United States Trade Representative in carrying out the United States Trade Representative's functions under section 141(d);

“(C) make recommendations with respect to the administration of United States trade laws relating to foreign government barriers to United States goods, services, and intellectual property, and other trade matters; and

“(D) perform such other functions as the United States Trade Representative may direct.

“(d) Office of Trade Assistance for Small Businesses.—

“(1) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established within the Division the Office of Trade Assistance for Small Businesses.

“(2) FUNCTIONS.—The Office of Trade Assistance for Small Businesses shall provide technical and legal assistance and advice to eligible small businesses to enable such small businesses to prepare and file petitions (other than those that, in the opinion of the Office of Trade Assistance for Small Businesses, are frivolous) under section 302.

“(3) ELIGIBLE SMALL BUSINESS DEFINED.—The term “eligible small business” means any business concern that, in the judgment of the Office of Trade Assistance for Small Businesses, due to its small size, has neither adequate internal resources nor financial ability to obtain qualified outside assistance in preparing and filing petitions and complaints under section 302. In determining whether a business concern is an “eligible small business,” the Office of Trade Assistance for Small Businesses may consult with the Administrator of the Small Business Administration and the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies.

“(e) Study and report on nontariff barriers to market access.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this section and annually thereafter, the Trade Enforcement Officer shall report to the Committee on Finance of the Senate, the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives on nontariff barriers affecting market access for United States companies in any other country with respect to which the United States has entered into a trade agreement or is negotiating a trade agreement.”.

(b) Conforming amendment.—The table of contents for the Trade Act of 1974 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 141 the following:


“Sec. 142. Trade Enforcement Division and Trade Enforcement Officer.”.

(c) Compensation for Trade Enforcement Officer.—Section 5314 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting “Trade Enforcement Officer.” as a new item after “Chief Agricultural Negotiator.”.

SEC. 3. Identification of trade enforcement priorities.

(a) In general.—Title III of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2411 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 311. Identification of trade enforcement priorities.

“(a) Identification and annual report.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 75 days after the submission of the report required by section 181(b), the Trade Representative shall annually—

“(A) identify United States trade enforcement priorities;

“(B) identify enforcement actions that the Trade Representative has taken during the previous year and review the impact such enforcement actions have had on foreign trade barriers;

“(C) identify priority foreign country trade practices on which the Trade Representative will focus enforcement efforts;

“(D) submit to the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives a report on the priorities, actions, and practices identified in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C); and

“(E) publish the report required by subparagraph (D) in the Federal Register.

“(2) FACTORS TO CONSIDER.—In identifying priority foreign country trade practices under paragraph (1)(C), the Trade Representative shall focus on the practices the elimination of which the Trade Representative determines will have the most potential to increase United States economic growth, either directly or through the establishment of a beneficial precedent. The Trade Representative shall take into account all relevant factors, including—

“(A) the major barriers and trade distorting practices described in the most recent available report submitted under section 181(b);

“(B) the findings and practices described in the most recent available report required under—

“(i) section 182;

“(ii) section 1377 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (19 U.S.C. 3106);

“(iii) section 3005 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (22 U.S.C. 5305);

“(iv) section 421 of the U.S.–China Relations Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 6951); and

“(v) any other report prepared by the Trade Representative or any other agency relating to international trade and investment;

“(C) the trade agreements to which a foreign country is a party and the compliance of the foreign country with such agreements;

“(D) the medium- and long-term implications of foreign government procurement plans; and

“(E) the international competitive position and export potential of United States products and services.

“(3) OTHER ITEMS IN REPORT.—The Trade Representative may include in the report required by paragraph (1)(D) a description of foreign country trade practices that may in the future warrant identification as priority foreign country trade practices.

“(4) PRIORITIES NOT IDENTIFIED.—If the Trade Representative does not identify a priority foreign country trade practice in the report required by paragraph (1)(D), the Trade Representative shall set out in detail in such report the reasons for failing to do so.

“(b) Consultation.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 45 days after the submission of the report required by section 181(b), the Trade Representative shall consult with the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives with respect to the priorities, actions, and practices to be identified in the report required by subsection (a)(1)(D).

“(2) VOTE OF COMMITTEE.—If, as a result of the consultations described in paragraph (1), either the Committee on Finance of the Senate or the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives requests identification of a priority foreign country trade practice by majority vote, the Trade Representative shall include such identification in the report required by subsection (a)(1)(D).

“(3) DETERMINATION NOT TO INCLUDE PRIORITY FOREIGN COUNTRY TRADE PRACTICES.—The Trade Representative may determine not to include the identification of a priority foreign country trade practice requested under paragraph (2) in the report required by subsection (a)(1)(D) only if—

“(A) the Trade Representative finds that—

“(i) such practice is already being addressed—

“(I) under provisions of United States trade law;

“(II) under the Uruguay Round Agreements (as defined in section 2(7) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (19 U.S.C. 3501(7)));

“(III) under any bilateral or regional trade agreement; or

“(IV) as part of trade negotiations with the foreign country or other countries engaging in such practice; and

“(ii) progress is being made toward the elimination of such practice; or

“(B) the Trade Representative finds that identification of such practice as a priority foreign country trade practice would be contrary to the interests of the United States.

“(4) REASONS FOR DETERMINATION.—In the case of a determination made pursuant to paragraph (3), the Trade Representative shall set forth in detail the reasons for that determination in the report required by subsection (a)(1)(D).

“(c) Investigation and resolution.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Upon submission of the report required by subsection (a)(1)(D), the Trade Representative shall, with respect to any priority foreign country trade practice identified, seek satisfactory resolution with the country or countries engaging in such practice under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, pursuant to a bilateral or regional trade agreement to which the United States is a party, or by any other means. A satisfactory resolution may include elimination of the practice or, if not feasible, providing for compensatory trade benefits.

“(2) CONSULTATIONS; INVESTIGATIONS.—Not later than 120 days after the transmission of the report required by subsection (a)(1)(D), the Trade Representative shall, with respect to any priority foreign country trade practice identified—

“(A) initiate dispute settlement consultations in the World Trade Organization;

“(B) initiate dispute settlement consultations under the applicable provisions of any bilateral or regional trade agreement to which the United States is a party;

“(C) initiate an investigation under section 302(b);

“(D) seek to negotiate an agreement that provides for the elimination of the priority foreign country trade practice or, if elimination of the practice is not feasible, an agreement that provides for compensatory trade benefits; or

“(E) take any other action necessary to eliminate the priority foreign country trade practice.

“(3) REPORT.—On the day on which the Trade Representative takes action under subparagraph (E) of paragraph (2), the Trade Representative shall submit to Congress a report—

“(A) describing the action taken under subparagraph (E) of paragraph (2) and the reasons for taking the action; and

“(B) stating in detail the reasons the Trade Representative did not take action under subparagraphs (A) through (D) of paragraph (2).

“(d) Additional reporting.—The Trade Representative shall report to the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act and every 6 months thereafter on—

“(1) the progress being made to realize the trade enforcement priorities identified in subsection (a)(1)(A); and

“(2) the steps being taken to address the priority foreign country trade practices identified in subsection (a)(1)(C).”.

(b) Conforming amendment.—The table of contents of the Trade Act of 1974 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 310 the following:


“Sec. 311. Identification of trade enforcement priorities.”.

SEC. 4. Authorization of appropriations.

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act for each fiscal year.