Text: H.R.3684 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/27/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 3684


To enhance reciprocal market access for United States domestic producers in the negotiating process of bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade agreements.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 27, 2007

Mr. McIntyre (for himself, Mr. Hayes, Ms. Slaughter, and Mr. Kuhl of New York) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means


A BILL

To enhance reciprocal market access for United States domestic producers in the negotiating process of bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade agreements.

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 “Reciprocal Market Access Act of 2007”.

SEC. 2. Findings and purpose.

(a) Findings.—Congress finds the following:

(1) A principal negotiating objective of the United States regarding trade barriers and other trade distortions must be to expand competitive market opportunities for United States exports and to obtain fairer and more open conditions of trade by reducing or eliminating tariff and nontariff barriers and policies and practices of foreign governments directly related to trade that hinders market opportunities for United States exports or otherwise distorts United States trade.

(2) One of the fundamental tenets of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is reciprocal market access and, in fact, this principle is underscored in the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization which called for “entering into reciprocal and mutually advantageous arrangements directed to the substantial reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade and to the elimination of discriminatory treatment in international trade relations”.

(3) If negotiations between the United States and a foreign country do not provide meaningful market access for products of United States domestic producers who have sought market access assistance from the United States Government, then the United States must not reduce or eliminate tariffs for products of the foreign country, having the same physical characteristics and uses pursuant to any trade agreement entered into between the United States and the foreign country.

(4) With each subsequent round of bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade negotiations, tariffs have been significantly reduced or eliminated for many manufactured goods, leaving nontariff barriers as the most pervasive, significant, and challenging barriers to United States exports and market opportunities.

(5) The United States market is widely recognized as one of the most open markets in the world: average United States tariff rates are very low and the United States has limited, if any, nontariff barriers.

(6) Consequently, the leverage the United States has to obtain removal of nontariff barriers of foreign countries is often tariffs on imports from foreign countries into the United States.

(7) Under the current negotiating process, negotiations to reduce or eliminate tariff barriers and nontariff barriers are separate and self-contained, meaning that tradeoffs are tariff-for-tariff and nontariff-for-nontariff. As a result, a tariff can be reduced or eliminated without securing elimination of the real barrier or barriers that deny United States industry access to a foreign market.

(8) The United States should not engage in trade negotiations in such a compartmentalized manner thereby effectively and unilaterally disarming itself by leveraging its limited tariff barriers without securing elimination of nontariff barriers of foreign countries and ensuring that new barriers are not created or discovered.

(9) The United States should seek to ensure market access results are obtained before reducing or eliminating domestic tariffs. Specifically, the United States Trade Representative should seek to ensure market access for products of United States domestic producers who have sought market access assistance from the United States Government and have provided a reasonable indication of the denial of meaningful market access.

(b) Purpose.—The purpose of this Act is to ensure that United States trade negotiations achieve real and meaningful results for United States industry by ensuring that trade agreements result in meaningful market access for the exports of United States domestic producers and not just the elimination of tariffs on imports into the United States.

SEC. 3. Limitation on authority to reduce or eliminate rates of duty pursuant to certain trade agreements.

(a) Limitation.—Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, the President may not agree to a modification of any existing duty that would reduce or eliminate the bound or applied rate of such duty on any product in order to carry out any trade agreement entered into between the United States and a foreign country on or after the date of the enactment of this Act until the President transmits to Congress a certification described in subsection (b).

(b) Certification.—A certification referred to in subsection (a) is a certification of the President that—

(1) the United States has obtained the reduction or elimination of tariff and nontariff barriers and policies and practices of the government of the foreign country described in subsection (a) with respect to United States exports of any product identified by United States domestic producers that has the same physical characteristics and uses as the product for which a modification of any existing duty is sought by the President to carry out the trade agreement described in subsection (a); and

(2) a violation of any provision of the trade agreement described in subsection (a) relating to the matters described in paragraph (1) is immediately enforceable in accordance with the provisions of section 4.

SEC. 4. Enforcement provisions.

(a) Withdrawal of tariff concessions.—If the United States Trade Representative determines pursuant to subsection (c) that any tariff or nontariff barrier or policy or practice of the government of a foreign country described in section 3(a) has not been reduced or eliminated, or that a tariff or nontariff barrier or policy or practice of such government has been imposed or discovered, with respect to United States exports of any product identified by United States domestic producers that has the same physical characteristics and uses as the product for which a modification of any existing duty has been sought by the President to carry out the trade agreement described in section 3(a), then, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the modification of the existing duty shall be withdrawn until such time as the United States Trade Representative submits to Congress a certification that the United States has obtained the reduction or elimination of the tariff or nontariff barrier or policy or practice of such government.

(b) Investigation.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—An investigation shall be initiated by the United States Trade Representative whenever an interested party files a petition with the United States Trade Representative which alleges the elements necessary for the withdrawal of the modification of an existing duty under subsection (a), and which is accompanied by information reasonably available to the petitioner supporting such allegations.

(2) INTERESTED PARTY DEFINED.—For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “interested party” means—

(A) a manufacturer, producer, or wholesaler in the United States of a domestic product with the same physical characteristics and uses as the product for which a modification of any existing duty has been sought;

(B) a certified union or recognized union or group of workers engaged in the manufacture, production, or wholesale in the United States of a domestic product that has the same physical characteristics and uses as the product for which a modification of any existing duty has been sought;

(C) a trade or business association a majority of whose members manufacture, produce, or wholesale in the United States a domestic product that has the same physical characteristics and uses as the product for which a modification of any existing duty has been sought; and

(D) a member of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives or a member of the Committee on Finance of the Senate.

(c) Determination by USTR.—Not later than 45 days after the date on which a petition is filed under subsection (b), the United States Trade Representative shall—

(1) determine whether the petition alleges the elements necessary for the withdrawal of the modification of an existing duty under subsection (a); and

(2) notify the petitioner of the determination under paragraph (1) and the reasons for the determination.


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