Text: H.R.4678 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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[Congressional Bills 111th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4678 Reported in House (RH)]

                                                 Union Calendar No. 413
111th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4678

                      [Report No. 111-683, Part I]

 To require foreign manufacturers of products imported into the United 
  States to establish registered agents in the United States who are 
authorized to accept service of process against such manufacturers, and 
                          for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           February 24, 2010

     Ms. Sutton (for herself, Mr. Turner, Ms. Linda T. Sanchez of 
California, Mr. Conyers, Ms. Zoe Lofgren of California, Mrs. Miller of 
 Michigan, Mr. Braley of Iowa, Mr. Sarbanes, Ms. Ginny Brown-Waite of 
Florida, Mr. Michaud, Mr. Doggett, Mr. Jones, Mr. Duncan, Mr. Hare, Mr. 
 Kildee, Mr. Stupak, Mr. Donnelly of Indiana, Mr. Gene Green of Texas, 
Mr. Terry, Ms. Edwards of Maryland, Ms. Shea-Porter, Mr. Oberstar, Mr. 
 Ryan of Ohio, Mr. Kanjorski, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Kagen, and Mr. Yarmuth) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
  Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Ways and 
 Means and Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by 
the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall 
           within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

                           December 16, 2010

  Reported from the Committee on Energy and Commerce with an amendment
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]

                           December 16, 2010

 Referral to the Committees on Ways and Means and Agriculture extended 
          for a period ending not later than December 17, 2010

                           December 17, 2010

 Referral to the Committees on Ways and Means and Agriculture extended 
          for a period ending not later than December 21, 2010

                           December 21, 2010

 Referral to the Committees on Ways and Means and Agriculture extended 
          for a period ending not later than December 22, 2010

                           December 22, 2010

  Additional sponsors: Mr. Melancon, Mr. Ellsworth, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. 
 Hall of New York, Mr. Garamendi, Mr. Davis of Tennessee, Mr. Dingell, 
Ms. Pingree of Maine, Ms. Chu, Mr. Stark, Mr. Jackson of Illinois, Mr. 
  Ellison, Ms. McCollum, Mr. Visclosky, Mr. Bright, Mr. Sherman, Mr. 
Holden, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Ms. Speier, Mr. Filner, Ms. Fudge, Mr. 
Heinrich, Mr. Carney, Mr. Sires, Mr. Courtney, Ms. Titus, Mr. Mollohan, 
  Mr. Meeks of New York, Mr. Israel, Ms. Richardson, Mr. Weiner, Mr. 
Peters, Mr. Teague, Mr. Space, Mr. Driehaus, Mr. Payne, Mr. Tim Murphy 
              of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Smith of Washington

                           December 22, 2010

The Committees on Ways and Means and Agriculture discharged; committed 
   to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and 
                         ordered to be printed
    [For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on 
                           February 24, 2010]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To require foreign manufacturers of products imported into the United 
  States to establish registered agents in the United States who are 
authorized to accept service of process against such manufacturers, 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 ``Foreign Manufacturers Legal 
Accountability Act of 2010''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Applicable agency.--The term ``applicable agency'' 
        means, with respect to covered products--
                    (A) described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of 
                paragraph (3), the Food and Drug Administration;
                    (B) described in paragraph (3)(C), the Consumer 
                Product Safety Commission;
                    (C) described in subparagraphs (D) and (E) of 
                paragraph (3), the Environmental Protection Agency;
                    (D) described in paragraph (3)(F), the National 
                Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and
                    (E) described in paragraph (3)(G)--
                            (i) the Food and Drug Administration, if 
                        the item is intended to be a component part of 
                        a product described in subparagraphs (A) or (B) 
                        of paragraph (3);
                            (ii) the Consumer Product Safety 
                        Commission, if the item is intended to be a 
                        component part of a product described in 
                        paragraph (3)(C);
                            (iii) the Environmental Protection Agency, 
                        if the item is intended to be a component part 
                        of a product described in subparagraphs (D) or 
                        (E) of paragraph (3); and
                            (iv) the National Highway Traffic Safety 
                        Administration, if the item is intended to be a 
                        component part of a product described in 
                        paragraph (3)(F).
            (2) Commerce.--The term ``commerce'' means trade, traffic, 
        commerce, or transportation--
                    (A) between a place in a State and any place 
                outside thereof; or
                    (B) which affects trade, traffic, commerce, or 
                transportation described in subparagraph (A).
            (3) Covered product.--The term ``covered product'' means 
        any of the following:
                    (A) Drugs, devices, and cosmetics, as such terms 
                are defined in section 201 of the Federal Food, Drug, 
                and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 321).
                    (B) A biological product, as such term is defined 
                in section 351(i) of the Public Health Service Act (42 
                U.S.C. 262(i)).
                    (C) A consumer product, as such term is used in 
                section 3(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 
                U.S.C. 2052).
                    (D) A chemical substance or new chemical substance, 
                as such terms are defined in section 3 of the Toxic 
                Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. 2602).
                    (E) A pesticide, as such term is defined in section 
                2 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and 
                Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136).
                    (F) A motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment, as 
                such terms are defined in section 30102 of title 49, 
                United States Code.
                    (G) An item intended to be a component part of a 
                product described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), (D), 
                (E), or (F) but is not yet a component part of such 
                product.
            (4) Distribute in commerce.--The term ``distribute in 
        commerce'' means to sell in commerce, to introduce or deliver 
        for introduction into commerce, or to hold for sale or 
        distribution after introduction into commerce.
            (5) Foreign manufacturer or producer.--The term ``foreign 
        manufacturer or producer'' does not include--
                    (A) a foreign manufacturer or producer of covered 
                products that is owned or controlled, directly or 
                indirectly, by one or more United States natural or 
                legal persons, if--
                            (i) the United States natural or legal 
                        person has assets in excess of the foreign 
                        manufacturer or producer; or
                            (ii) the United States natural or legal 
                        person owns or controls more than one foreign 
                        manufacturer or producer of covered products 
                        and such person has assets in excess of the 
                        average assets held by each foreign 
                        manufacturer or producer; or
                    (B) a foreign manufacturer or producer of covered 
                products that owns or controls, or through common 
                ownership or control is affiliated with, directly or 
                indirectly, one or more United States operating legal 
                persons if the principal executive officer residing in 
                the United States of each United States operating legal 
                person certifies in writing to the applicable agency 
                that such person--
                            (i) is responsible for any liability from a 
                        covered product of the foreign manufacturer or 
                        producer, including liability from the design, 
                        testing, assembly, manufacturing, warnings, 
                        labeling, inspection, packaging, or any other 
                        cause of action related to the covered product; 
                        and
                            (ii) will serve as the initial point of 
                        contact for the applicable agency in case of a 
                        voluntary or mandatory recall or other issue 
                        involving the safety of a covered product.

SEC. 3. REGISTRATION OF AGENTS OF FOREIGN MANUFACTURERS AUTHORIZED TO 
              ACCEPT SERVICE OF PROCESS IN THE UNITED STATES.

    (a) Registration.--
            (1) In general.--Beginning on the date that is 180 days 
        after the date on which the regulations are prescribed pursuant 
        to section 3(d) and except as provided in this subsection, the 
        head of each applicable agency shall require foreign 
        manufacturers and producers of covered products distributed in 
        commerce to register an agent in the United States who is 
        authorized to accept service of process on behalf of such 
        manufacturer or producer for the purpose of any State or 
        Federal regulatory proceeding or any civil action in State or 
        Federal court related to such covered product, if such service 
        is made in accordance with the State or Federal rules for 
        service of process in the State in which the case or regulatory 
        action is brought.
            (2) Location.--The head of each applicable agency shall 
        require that an agent of a foreign manufacturer or producer 
        registered under paragraph (1) be--
                    (A) located in a State chosen by the foreign 
                manufacturer or producer with a substantial connection 
                to the importation, distribution, or sale of the 
                products of the foreign manufacturer or producer; and
                    (B) an individual, domestic firm, or domestic 
                corporation that is a permanent resident of the United 
                States.
            (3) Designation by manufacturer or producer and acceptance 
        by agent.--The head of each applicable agency shall, at a 
        minimum, require a--
                    (A) written designation by a foreign manufacturer 
                or producer with respect to which paragraph (1) 
                applies--
                            (i) signed by an official or employee of 
                        the foreign manufacturer or producer with 
                        authority to appoint an agent;
                            (ii) containing the full legal name, 
                        principal place of business, and mailing 
                        address of the manufacturer or producer; and
                            (iii) containing a statement that the 
                        designation is valid and binding on the foreign 
                        manufacturer or producer for the purposes of 
                        this Act.
                    (B) written acceptance by the agent registered by a 
                foreign manufacturer or producer with respect to which 
                paragraph (1) applies--
                            (i) signed by the agent or, in the case in 
                        which a domestic firm or domestic corporation 
                        is designated as an agent, an official or 
                        employee of the firm or corporation with 
                        authority to sign for the firm or corporation;
                            (ii) containing the agent's full legal 
                        name, physical address, mailing address, and 
                        phone number; and
                            (iii) containing a statement that the agent 
                        accepts the designation and acknowledges that 
                        the duties of the agent may not be assigned to 
                        another person or entity and the duties remain 
                        in effect until withdrawn or replaced by the 
                        foreign manufacturer or producer.
            (4) Applicability.--
                    (A) In general.--Paragraph (1) applies only with 
                respect to a foreign manufacturer or producer that 
                exceeds minimum requirements established by the head of 
                the applicable agency under this section.
                    (B) Factors.--In determining the minimum 
                requirements for application of paragraph (1) to a 
                foreign manufacturer or producer, the head of the 
                applicable agency shall, at a minimum, consider the 
                following:
                            (i) The value of all covered products 
                        imported from the manufacturer or producer in a 
                        calendar year.
                            (ii) The quantity of all covered products 
                        imported from the manufacturer or producer in a 
                        calendar year.
                            (iii) The frequency of importation from the 
                        manufacturer or producer in a calendar year.
    (b) Registry of Agents of Foreign Manufacturers and 
Certifications.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary of Commerce shall, in 
        cooperation with each head of an applicable agency, establish 
        and keep up to date a registry of agents registered under 
        subsection (a), certifications submitted under section 2(5)(B), 
        and certifications removed pursuant to subsection (e).
            (2) Availability.--The Secretary of Commerce shall make the 
        registry established under paragraph (1) available--
                    (A) to the public in a searchable format through 
                the Internet website of the Department of Commerce; and
                    (B) to the Commissioner responsible for U.S. 
                Customs and Border Protection in a format prescribed by 
                the Commissioner.
    (c) Consent to Jurisdiction.--
            (1) In general.--A foreign manufacturer or producer of a 
        covered product that registers an agent under this section 
        thereby consents to the personal jurisdiction of the State and 
        Federal courts of the State in which the registered agent is 
        located for the purpose of any judicial proceeding related to 
        such covered product.
            (2) Rule of construction.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply to 
        actions brought by foreign plaintiffs where the alleged injury 
        or damage occurred outside the United States.
    (d) Regulations.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than one year after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce, the 
        Commissioner responsible for U.S. Customs and Border 
        Protection, and each head of an applicable agency shall 
        prescribe regulations to carry out this section.
            (2) Interagency cooperation.--The Secretary of Commerce, 
        the Commissioner responsible for U.S. Customs and Border 
        Protection, and each head of an applicable agency shall 
        cooperate and consult with one another for the purpose of--
                    (A) prescribing consistent regulations to the 
                extent necessary for the effective and efficient 
                sharing of information and establishment of systems and 
                procedures necessary to carry out this section; and
                    (B) establishing minimum requirements described in 
                subsection (a)(4), and to the extent advisable and 
                practicable for the purpose of establishing consistent 
                minimum requirements.
    (e) Certification Requirements.--Upon actual knowledge or verified 
information that any person to whom the requirements of section 2(5)(B) 
applies has failed to fulfill such requirements the applicable agency 
shall--
            (1) notify the Secretary of Commerce that the certification 
        of such person must be removed from the registry under section 
        3(b); and
            (2) notify such person that the related foreign 
        manufacturer or producer must comply with section 3.

SEC. 4. PROHIBITION OF IMPORTATION OF PRODUCTS OF MANUFACTURERS WITHOUT 
              REGISTERED AGENTS IN UNITED STATES.

    (a) In General.--Beginning on the date that is 180 days after the 
date the regulations required under section 3(d) are prescribed, a 
person may not import into the United States a covered product (or 
component part that will be used in the United States to manufacture a 
covered product) if such product (or component part) or any part of 
such product (or component part) was manufactured or produced outside 
the United States by a manufacturer or producer who does not have a 
registered agent described in section 3(a) whose authority is in effect 
on the date of the importation.
    (b) Enforcement.--The Secretary of Homeland Security shall 
prescribe regulations to enforce the prohibition in subsection (a).

SEC. 5. REPORTING OF DEFECTS IN COVERED PRODUCTS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

    (a) Determination by Manufacturer or Producer.--Not later than 5 
working days after determining to conduct a safety recall or other 
safety campaign in a foreign country of a covered product that is 
identical or substantially similar to a covered product offered for 
sale in the United States, the manufacturer or producer of the covered 
product shall report the determination to the head of the applicable 
agency.
    (b) Determination by Foreign Government.--Not later than 5 working 
days after receiving notification that the government of a foreign 
country has determined that a safety recall or other safety campaign 
must be conducted in the foreign country of a covered product that is 
identical or substantially similar to a covered product offered for 
sale in the United States, the manufacturer or producer of the covered 
product shall report the determination to the head of the applicable 
agency.
    (c) Reporting Requirements.--Not later than the date described in 
subsection (d), the head of each applicable agency shall prescribe the 
contents of the notification required by this section.
    (d) Effective Date.--Except as provided in subsection (c), this 
section shall take effect on the date that is one year after the date 
of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 6. STUDY ON REGISTRATION OF AGENTS OF FOREIGN FOOD PRODUCERS 
              AUTHORIZED TO ACCEPT SERVICE OF PROCESS IN THE UNITED 
              STATES.

    Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Secretary of Agriculture and the Commissioner of Food and Drugs 
shall jointly--
            (1) complete a study on the feasibility and advisability of 
        requiring foreign producers of food distributed in commerce to 
        register an agent in the United States who is authorized to 
        accept service of process on behalf of such producers for the 
        purpose of any State or Federal regulatory proceeding or any 
        civil action in State or Federal court related to such food 
        products; and
            (2) submit to Congress a report on the findings of the 
        Secretary with respect to such study.

SEC. 7. STUDY ON REGISTRATION OF AGENTS OF FOREIGN MANUFACTURERS AND 
              PRODUCERS OF COMPONENT PARTS WITHIN COVERED PRODUCTS.

    Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the head of each applicable agency shall--
            (1) complete a study on determining feasible and advisable 
        methods of requiring manufacturers or producers of component 
        parts within covered products manufactured or produced outside 
        the United States and distributed in commerce to register 
        agents in the United States who are authorized to accept 
        service of process on behalf of such manufacturers or producers 
        for the purpose of any State or Federal regulatory proceeding 
        or any civil action in State or Federal court related to such 
        component parts; and
            (2) submit to Congress a report on the findings of the head 
        of the applicable agency with respect to the study.

SEC. 8. STUDY ON ENFORCEMENT OF UNITED STATES JUDGMENTS RELATING TO 
              DEFECTIVE DRYWALL IMPORTED FROM CHINA.

    Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Comptroller General of the United States shall--
            (1) complete a study on methods to enforce judgments of any 
        State or Federal regulatory proceeding or any civil action in 
        State or Federal court relating to defective drywall imported 
        from the People's Republic of China and distributed in commerce 
        during the period 2004 through 2007 and used in residential 
        dwellings in the United States; and
            (2) submit to Congress a report on the findings of the 
        Comptroller General with respect to the study.

SEC. 9. RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER LAWS.

    Nothing in this Act shall affect the authority of any State to 
establish or continue in effect a provision of State law relating to 
service of process or personal jurisdiction, except to the extent that 
such provision of law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, 
and then only to the extent of such inconsistency.
                                                 Union Calendar No. 413

111th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                               H. R. 4678

                      [Report No. 111-683, Part I]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL

 To require foreign manufacturers of products imported into the United 
  States to establish registered agents in the United States who are 
authorized to accept service of process against such manufacturers, and 
                          for other purposes.

_______________________________________________________________________

                           December 22, 2010

The Committees on Ways and Means and Agriculture discharged; committed 
   to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and 
                         ordered to be printed