Summary: S.3479 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.3479. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (08/01/2012)

Building a Stronger America Act of 2012 - Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to direct the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to award renewable three-year competitive industry or sector partnership grants to eligible entities to develop strategies that: (1) encourage growth and competitiveness through work with employers within a targeted industry cluster; (2) help workers move toward economic self-sufficiency and ensure that they have access to supportive services; (3) address the needs of firms with limited human resources or in-house training capacity, including small- and medium-sized firms; and (4) coordinate with entities that carry out state and local workforce investment, economic development, and education activities.

Directs the Secretary to establish the Innovation in Investment pilot program to make competitive grants to eligible consortia in certain states with relatively high poverty rates to establish state Innovation in Investment pilot programs to provide training and educational assistance to unemployed individuals, or postsecondary students not seeking a baccalaureate degree, that lead to a degree or industry or professional certification or licensure and eventually to employment.

Amends the National Apprenticeship Act to direct the Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the Office of Apprenticeship of the Department of Labor, to: (1) increase public awareness of the national apprenticeship system through the dissemination of certain apprenticeship information, and (2) establish a pilot program to expand such system.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to establish a program to award federal grants to states recruiting high-value jobs, that is, those within an eligible facility that contribute to the value of a manufactured product, pay wages higher than the mean hourly U.S. wage, and have North American Industrial Classifications corresponding with: (1) manufacturing, (2) software publishers, (3) computer systems design, or (4) related codes. Allows states to use such grants to issue forgivable loans of $5,000 per full-time equivalent employee to eligible entities deciding whether to locate in a foreign country or the United States to assist them in locating in rural or distressed areas of the state.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to ensure that industry-approved certification assessments and standards are established and available to providers of education and training programs in manufacturing and information technology in order to: (1) improve program performance; and (2) ensure that individuals who complete training have the skills to enter high-skill, high-demand occupations in manufacturing and information technology.

Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to require the Commissioner responsible for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to initiate, upon petition or a referral from another federal agency, an investigation into claims of evasion of antidumping or countervailing duties (including any cash deposits or other security) with respect to covered merchandise entered into the United States.

Prescribes actions for the Commissioner to take in the case of an affirmative preliminary or final determination.

Requires the administering authority to apply the highest applicable cash deposit or antidumping or countervailing duty in cases where the producer or exporter of covered merchandise is unknown.

Applies the amendments made by this Act to goods from Canada and Mexico.

Requires the Commissioner to ensure that CBP employs and assigns sufficient personnel to prevent the entry of covered merchandise in a manner that evades antidumping and countervailing duty orders or findings.

Requires the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), the Commissioner, and the Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to assess and properly allocate the resources of CBP and ICE to improve efforts to investigate and combat evasion.

Directs the Comptroller General to report on: (1) efforts to prevent the entry of certain merchandise into the U.S. customs territory through evasion, and (2) the estimated amount of duties that could not be collected on certain merchandise that entered U.S. customs territory through evasion during FY2010-FY2011 because the Commissioner did not have the authority to reliquidate the entries of such merchandise.

Amends the Foreign Direct Investment and International Financial Data Improvements Act of 1990 to direct the Secretary of Commerce to conduct an interagency review of U.S. laws and policies on foreign direct investment in the United States and develop recommendations to make the United States more competitive in attracting and retaining strong investment flows from abroad.

Amends the Export Enhancement Act of 1988 to revise the duties of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC).

Requires the TPCC to: (1) identify opportunities to consolidate or co-locate offices of federal agencies involved in export promotion and export financing activities; (2) assess the use and coordination of electronic databases among federal agencies in support of such activities; (3) review the proposed trade promotion fiscal year budget of each federal agency with responsibility for export promotion or export financing activities before it is submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the President; and (4) make available, on federal agency websites, including, a detailed listing of current and future federal and state-led trade missions, trade fairs, and related export promotion and export financing activities to ensure better delivery of services to U.S. businesses.

Requires the governmentwide strategic plan to: (1) identify countries with which the United States could negotiate trade agreements to increase U.S. exports, (2) identify areas in which the TPCC can maximize existing partnerships with agencies by granting the TPCC the ability to partner with other agency partners without requiring an additional memorandum of understanding, (3) review and propose means to improve educational outreach to small- and medium-sized businesses with respect to the resources available through the TPCC and its member agencies, and (4) clearly describe the role of each TPCC member agency and its responsibility for export promotion and export financing.

Requires the TPCC to coordinate with TPCC member agencies to publish export promotion and export financing information on the website as a single window for export information.

Requires the Secretary of Commerce to: (1) conduct at least once every five years a global assessment of overseas markets to identify the countries to which the United States could increase U.S. exports, and (2) redeploy U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service personnel and other resources on the basis of that assessment.

Amends the Foreign Service Act of 1980 to require each chief of mission to a foreign country to develop a plan for effective diplomacy to remove or reduce obstacles to exports of U.S. goods and services.

Directs the U.S. International Trade Commission to: (1) report biennially to Congress and the President on distortive or discriminatory economic policies of foreign countries, and (2) assess the effects of such policies and practices on U.S. businesses and workers over the next ten years.