Summary: H.R.6767 — 93rd Congress (1973-1974)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.6767. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (04/10/1973)

Trade Reform Act - States that the purposes of this Act are to provide authority in the trade field supporting United States participation in an interrelated effort to develop an open, nondiscriminatory, and fair world economic system; to facilitate international cooperation in economic affairs; to stimulate United States economic growth and enlarge foreign markets for United States exports; to establish a program of temporary import relief and to provide trade adjustment assistance to workers; to improve the means for dealing with unfair import competition; to provide additional authority for the President to obtain fair and equitable access to foreign markets for United States exports; to provide the President more flexible authority to deal with trade matters; to enable the United States to take advantage of new trade opportunities with countries with which it has not recently had trade agreement relations; and to enable United States participation in the effort by developed countries to provide generalized preferential treatment to products of developing countries.

Title I: Authority for New Negotiations - Grants to the President authority to enter into trade agreements with foreign countries, and unlimited authority to modify, continue, or eliminate duties on imports persuant to such agreements.

Provides that aggregate reductions in the rate of duty up to 3 percent ad valorem may be put into effect each year for five years. Allows the President to interrupt and to extend the staging period for such reductions as long as he deems appropriate for certain products. Allows the President to exempt from staging requirements reductions not in excess of 10 percent of the duty prior to reduction, by rounding fractions or decimals.

Sets forth the findings of Congress on nontariff barriers to trade which reduce the growth of foreign markets for products of United States commerce, and diminish the intended mutual benefits of reciprocal trade concessions. Urges the President to negotiate mutual reduction, elimination, or harmonization of such barriers to trade with other countries. Grants the President advance authority to implement such agreements with respect to customs valuation, establishing the quantities on which assessments are made, and requirements for marking of country of origin. Establishes procedures for serving notice to the Congress 90 days before such agreements take effect. Sets forth prenegotiation requirements.

Provides for the publication and transmission to the Tariff Commission by the President of lists of articles which may be considered for concessions in connection with any proposed trade agreement.

Requires the Tariff Commission to advise the President on each article within six months of its judgment as to the probable economic effect of modifying or continuing duties on domestic industries producing like or directly competitive articles. Outlines the economic factors which the Tariff Commission shall investigate and analyze. Requires the Tariff Commission to hold public hearings during the course of preparing this advice.

Requires the President, before entering into a trade agreement to seek information and advice with respect to each agreement from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Interior, Labor, State, Treasury, and from the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations, and to seek information and advice as appropriate from other sources such as the Department of Transportation.

Provides that meetings of selected industry, labor, and agriculture groups advising the President or any agency on United States negotiating objectives and bargaining positions in specific product sectors prior to entry into trade agreements shall be exempt from the requirements relating to open meetings and public participation under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

Requires the President to hold public hearings in connection with any proposed trade agreement under this title to enable interested persons to present their views with respect to the list of articles considered for change in duty status, any concessions which should be sought from foreign countries, and any other relevant matters. Requires the President to designate an agency or interagency committee to hold these hearing and to provide a summary to the President. Requires the President to receive such summary of the hearings before making an offer to modify or continue any duty or to continue duty-free treatment on any article in negotiations.

Requires the President to transmit to each House of the Congress a copy of all trade agreements, with a statement of his reasons for entering into the agreement in the light of the Tariff Commission's advice and other relevant considerations.

Title II: Relief from Disruption Caused by Fair Competition

Outlines procedures to be followed by the Tariff Commission in conducting an investigation to determine the existence of injury to a domestic industry due to imports.

Provides that a petition for eligibility for import relief may be filed with the Tariff Commission by an entity, such as a trade association, firm, or union, which is broadly representative of an industry. Requires that the petition include a statement describing the specific purpose for which import relief is sought, such as to facilitate the transfer of resources to alternative employment and other means to adjust to new competitive conditions.

Requires the Tariff Commission to transmit a copy of any petitions to the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations and to the Government agencies which are directly concerned in particular cases, such as the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, Labor, State, and Treasury.

Requires the Tariff Commission to conduct an investigation to determine whether there is injury to a domestic industry caused primarily by substantially increased quantities of imports like or directly competitive with articles produced by the domestic industry, and offered at prices substantially below those of comparable domestic articles.

Provides that, in making its determination with respect to injury, the Tariff Commission shall take into account all economic factors it considers relevant, including significant unemployment or underemployment in the industry, inability of a significant number of firms to operate at a reasonable level of profit and significant idling of productive facilities in the industry. Provides that determining whether imports are the primary cause of injury, the Commission shall consider relevant factors such as the extent to which current business conditions, changes in taste or technology, or competitive conditions within the industry may be contributed to the competitive difficulties experienced by firms in the industry. Requires the Tariff Commission to investigate and report on efforts by firms in the industry to compete more effectively with imports.

Requires the Tariff Commission to hold public hearings in connection with any proceedings with regard to import relief for market disruption by imported goods. Requires the Tariff Commission to report to the President its findings relating to such import relief, and to publish a summary of its findings in the Federal Register.

Provides for a determination by the President within 60 days whether to provide import relief following an affirmative finding by the Tariff Commission of injury to an industry due to imports. Enumerates factors which the President must take into account in this determination, including: the effectiveness of import relief as a means to promote adjustment and the impact of relief measures on domestic consumers, other industries and workers, and upon United States foreign economic interests.

Authorizes the President to provide import relief to the extent and for such time as he deems necessary to prevent or remedy serious injury to a domestic industry. States that such relief shall be in the form of increased duties or restrictions on articles causing or threatening serious injury to domestic industry. Provides that the President may issue regulations governing the entry of an article covered by an orderly marketing agreement, and that the President may impose controls on import of articles from countries which are not parties to such agreements.

Provides limitations of 5 years on the duration of import relief measures and requires the phasing out of such measures during the time of their application.

Requires the Tariff Commission to keep under review developments with respect to the industry concerned as long as any import relief remains in effect, and report such developments to the President upon his request.

Provides that whenever any action has been taken to increase or impose any duty or other import restriction, the President shall afford interested foreign countries an opportunity to consult with the United States with respect to concessions, if any, to be granted as compensation for the import restriction imposed.

Provides for filing of petitions with the Secretary of Labor by groups of workers or their duly authorized representative for a certification of eligibility to apply for adjustment assistance. Requires the Secretary to publish promptly in the Federal Register that he has received the petition and initiated an investigation.

Provides that the Secretary shall provide for a public hearing if the petitioner, or any other person found by the Secretary to have a substantial interest in the proceedings, submits a request not later than ten days after the publication of notice.

Provides criteria for certification by the Secretary of Labor of eligibilty of groups of workers applying for adjustment assistance. Requires the Secretary to make such determination of eligibility within 60 days after filing of a petitition by a group of workers. Requires the Secretary to publish promptly in the Federal Register a summary of his determination on such petititions. Provides for termination of such certifications of eligibility to apply for adjustment assistance if the Secretary determines that total or partial separations are no longer attributable to the conditions for which the certification was granted.

States the qualifications that an individual worker must have in order to obtain supplemental payments for weeks in which he is entitled to State unemployment insurance payments.

Establishes that an adversely affected worker who receives State unemployment insurance for a week of unemployment and meets the qualifying requirements shall receive a supplemental payment equal to the amount (if any) of which the State unemployment insurance he receives for such week is less than the payment he would have received if under the State law his weekly benefit amount was one-half of his average weekly wage, or the maximum weekly benefit amount, whichever is less. Defines the terms used in establishing the weekly benefit amount on the basis of which the supplemental payment would be made.

Provides that the Secretary shall make every reasonable effort to secure counseling, testing, and placement services, and supportive and other services provided for under any Federal law for adversely affected workers covered by a certification. Requires the Secretary to procure such services through agreements with cooperating State agencies whenever appropriate.

Authorizes the Secretary to provide or assure provision of appropriate training to trade-impacted workers under manpower and related service programs established by law, on a priority basis.

Authorizes supplemental assistance to defray transportation and subsistence costs when training is provided in facilities which are not within commuting distance.

Provides that the Secretary shall not authorize training which begins more than one year after the certification or of the worker's last total or partial separation whichever is later.

Provides that any worker refusing without good cause to accept or continue, or failing to make satisfactory progress in suitable training to which he was referred by the Secretary shall be disqualified from receiving payments under this chapter until he enters or resumes the training.

Provides that workers covered by adjustment assistance certification may apply for a job search allowance, reimbursing the worker up to 80 percent of the cost of such job search, but not to exceed $500. Provides terms and conditions for relocation allowances for a head of a family adversely affected by imports and covered by certification.

Provides for agreements between the Secretary of Labor and State agencies to carry out the provisions for testing, counseling, training and placement services for workers adversely affected by imports. Authorizes the Secretary to arrange by regulations for performance of such services where there is no agreement with a State agency. Provides for fair hearing for any worker whose application for payments is denied.

Provides for review by the courts of final determination of entitlement to payments in the same manner and to the same extent as is provided by the judicial review provision for the social security program.

Requires that all money paid to State under this Act shall be used solely for the purposes for which it is paid. Relieves certifying and disbursing officers, in the absence of gross negligence or intent to defraud the United States, from liability with respect to any properly certified payment.

Provides that if a person has been found to have received any payment to which he was not entitled, as a result of false statements, such person shall be liable to repay such amount to the State agency or to the Secretary. Imposes penalties by fines of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, for any person who knowingly makes false statements of, or fails to disclose material facts for the purpose of obtaining or increasing for himself or for any other individual any payment authorized to be paid under this Act. Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary of sums necessary to carry out his functions in connection with furnishing payments to workers under this Act.

Sets forth definitions of terms necessary to interpretation and administration of this section. Requires the Secretary of Labor, in coordination with the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations to prescribe regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

Title III: Relief from Unfair Trade Practices - Expands the authority of the President under the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to respond to unreasonable or injustifiable foreign trade practices or discriminatory acts which burden or restrict United States commerce. Requires the President to take all appropriate and feasible steps to obtain the elimination of such import restrictions on United States exports.

Provides that the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate must within six months or, in more complicated investigations, within nine months after a question of dumping is raised by or presented to him, make the determination required under present law as to whether there is reason to believe or suspect that the purchase price of imported merchandise is less, or the exporter's sales price is less or likely to be less, than the foreign market value or constructed value of the merchandise.

Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to withhold appraisement of such merchandise entered on or after the date of publication of notice thereof in the Federal Register. Requires the Secretary of the Treasury or the Tariff Commission to hold a hearing prior to determination of dumping, and to publish in the Federal Register the basis for their findings and conclusions on all material issues presented on the record.

Defines purchase price and the exporter's sales price of imported merchandise for purposes of this section.

Provides for the application of countervailing duties on imports, equal to the net amount bestowed on such goods by a bounty or grant by any country.

Requires a determination of material injury by the Tariff Commission for the application of countervailing duties to duty-free imports, for so long as such a determination is required by international obligations.

Provides that the Secretary of the Treasury must determine within one year if a bounty or grant is being paid or bestowed.

Provides discretionary authority for the Secretary to bar the application of countervailing duties in any particular case if he determines that such action would be detrimental to United States economic interests, or that existing quantitative limitations are an adequate substitute for the imposition of countervailing duties.

Limits the discretion of the President over issuance of exclusion orders against articles concerned in unfair methods of competition to instances of patent infringement. Requires the Tariff Commission to investigate and regulate other alleged unfair methods of competition.

Authorizes the Tariff Commission to issue temporary exclusion orders pending the completion of its full investigation if a prima facie showing of a violation has been established, and if immediate and substantial harm to the patentee would result if a temporary order were not issued.

Provides that public hearings shall be held in connection with investigations under this section and that a transcript shall be made.

Authorizes any person adversely affected by an action of the Commission to secure judicial review in the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals.

Title IV: Internal Trade Policy Management

Grants explicit and more flexible authority than under existing legislation for the President to impose or liberalize restrictions on imports to deal with serious balance-of-payments problems.

Permits the United States to exercise fully its GATT rights and obligations. Provides the President authority at least as extensive as his authority under trade agreements, and authority to maintain trade agreement rates in the absence of a trade agreement.

Provides permanent authority for the President to negotiate and implement trade agreements of limited scope.

Provides permanent authority for the President to compensate foreign countries for increases in United States import restrictions.

Provides authority for the President to reduce import restrictions temporarily for the purpose of restraining inflation.

Requires the reservation of certain articles for reductions in duties or other import restrictions during the course of trade negotiations for purposes of national security.

Requires the application of trade agreement concessions on a most-favored-nation basis unless a deviation is specifically authorized.

Provides authority for the President to terminate at any time actions to implement trade agreements.

Provides that all trade agreements are subject to termination or withdrawal at the end of a specific time period.

Provides for public hearings in connection with Presidential withdrawal of concessions or termination of prior trade agreements.

Authorizes annual appropriations necessary for the payment by the United States of its share of the expenses of the contracting parties to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Title V: Trade Relations with Countries not Enjoying Most-Favored-Nation Tariff Treatment -

Stipulates that except as otherwise provided, the President shall continue to deny most-favored-nation tariff treatment to products imported from any country or area which are subject to Column 2 rates of duty. Authorizes the President to deny such most-favored-nation treatment from any country when he deems it necessary for national security purposes.

Authorizes the President to enter into bilateral commercial agreements to extend most-favored-nation treatment to imports from countries previously denied such treatment, provided that such agreements are in the national interest. Limits such agreements to an initial period of not more than three years. Subjects such agreements to suspension or termination at any time for national security reasons. Provides for consultations for the purpose of reviewing the operation of the agreement and relevant aspects of relations between the United States and the other party. Authorizes implementation of such agreements only if a majority of neither House of Congress adopts a resolution disapproving of such agreement within 90 days after the President delivers a copy of the agreement to the Congress.

Lists examples of provisions which may be included in bilateral commercial agreements including arrangements to safeguard against domestic market disruption, to protect United States industrial rights and processes, trademarks, and copyrights, to settle commercial disputes, and arrangements to promote trade, for example, by establishing trade and tourist promotion offices, the sending of trade missions, and facilitating activities of commercial representatives.

Authorizes the President to extend most-favored-nation treatment to imports from any country which has entered into a bilateral commercial agreement which has entered into force. Authorizes the President to issue an order extending most-favored-nation treatment to a country which has become a party to an appropriate multilateral trade agreement to which the United States is also a party, such as the GATT, subject to the Congressional veto procedure. Limits the application of most-favored-nation treatment to the duration of the bilateral agreement or to the period both countries are a party to a multilateral agreement.

Authorizes the President at any time to suspend or withdraw the application of most-favored-nation treatment extended under this Section, thereby restoring the applicable Column 2 rate of duty on all products imported from the country.

Provides criteria for determining whether market disruption injury to a domestic industry has occurred due to imports from countries which are granted most-favored-nation treatment. Requires the Tariff Commission to determine whether imports of such countries are causing material injury to a domestic industry producing like or directly competitive articles. Authorizes the President to provide import relief in the form of higher duties or other restrictions on an article found to cause injury to domestic industry.

Title VI: Generalized System of Preferences - Sets forth the finding of the Congress that the welfare and security of the United States are enhanced by efforts to further the economic development of the developing countries, and that such development may be assisted by providing increased access to markets in the developed countries, including the United States, for exports from developing countries. States that the purpose of this title is to promote the general welfare, foreign policy and security of the United States by enabling the United States to participate with other developed countries in granting generalized tariff preferences to exports of manufactured and semimanufactured products and of selected other products from developing countries.

Authorizes the President to provide duty-free treatment for any eligible article imported from "developing" countries, which are considered an exception to the most-favored-nation principle of the Act.

Outlines the procedures and criteria for determining eligibility of products for duty-free preferential treatment, including public hearings and a determination by the Tariff Commission of the anticipated impact of the imported goods on domestic industry. Requires that prior to granting duty-free treatment on any article, the President must publish and furnish to the Tariff Commission a list of articles which may be designated eligible articles for this purpose.

Requires that eligible articles be imported directly from a beneficiary developing country in order to qualify for duty-free entry, and that the sum of the cost or value of materials produced in a beneficiary developing country plus the direct costs of processing operations performed in a beneficiary developing country shall equal or exceed the percentage of the appraised value of the article at the time of its entry into the United States which the Secretary of the Treasury prescribes by regulation.

Grants the Secretary broad authority to determine without public hearings what constitutes direct costs and to prescribe rules governing direct importation. Prohibits the President from designating as eligible any article subject to import relief measures or to national security action. Authorizes the President to terminate preferential treatment in response to a finding by the Tariff Commission of injury to domestic industry from an article from a poor country.

Outlines criteria for determining which developing countries may be beneficiaries of duty-free preferential treatment on eligible articles.

Authorizes the President to designate any country a beneficiary developing country. Directs the President in making such designation to take into account: the level of economic development of the country, whether a country has indicated a desire to be designated a beneficiary of preferential treatment, whether other major developed countries are extending generalized tariff preferences to the country, and whether the country has nationalized, expropriated or seized ownership or control of property owned by a United States citizen without provision for the payment of prompt, adequate and effective compensation. Stipulates that no country which is not receiving most-favored-nation treatment can be designated a beneficiary of preferential treatment. Prohibits according preferential treatment to a "developing" country which accords preferential treatment to the products of a developed country other than the United States, unless such treatment is to be eliminated before January 1, 1976.

Grants the President broad authority to modify, withdraw, suspend, or limit at any time the application of preferential treatment on any product or with respect to any country.

Requires the President to withdraw or suspend preferential treatment from any country which ceases to receive most-favored-nation treatment, and from any country which has not or will not eliminate preferences granted to other developed countries before January 1, 1976.

Provides that duty-free preferential treatment shall not apply to a particular article from a particular beneficiary developing country if that country has supplied 50 percent of the total value or over $25 million of United States imports of the article on an annual basis over a representative period. Sets limits on the effective period of general preferences which must be terminated 10 years after enactment of this Act or after December 31, 1974, whichever is earlier.

Title VII: General Provisions - Authorizes the President to delegate the power, authority, and discretion conferred upon him by this Act to heads of agencies he deems appropriate. Authorizes such heads of agencies to authorize the head of any other agency to perform such functions, to prescribe rules and regulations necessary to perform such functions, and to procure the temporary services of experts on consultants.

Provides for an annual report to the Congress by the President on the trade agreements program and on import relief and adjustment assistance to workers. Provides for a factual report to the Congress by the Tariff Commission on the operation of the trade agreement program at least once a year.

Provides that the Tariff Commission may conduct preliminary investigations, determine the scope and manner of its proceedings, and consolidate its proceedings.

Provides that, in performing functions under this Act, the Tariff Commission may exercise any authority granted to it under any other Act.

Provides that the Tariff Commission shall keep informed at all times concerning the operation and effect of provisions relating to duties or other import restrictions of the United States contained in trade agreements.

Insures that invalidity of any one provision of this Act will not affect the validity of the remainder of the Act. Defines terms used in the Act. Sets forth amendments to existing trade laws to bring about conformity with this Act. Directs the President to embody in the tariff schedules of the United States the substance of the relevant provisions of this Act, and of other Acts affecting import treatment, and actions thereunder, including modification, continuance or imposition of any rate of duty or other import restriction. Extends to the President upon recommendation of the Tariff Commission, authority to modify or amend the tariff schedules of the United States, including the establishment of new classifications, the abolition of existing classifications, or the transfer of particular articles from one classification to another. Excludes from such simplifications of the tariff schedules any modification of any rate of duty or other import restriction by more than one percent ad valorem (or ad valorem equivalent) unless annual imports of the article involved did not exceed $10,000 in each of the immediately preceding ten years.

Requires the Tariff Commission, before making recommendations to the President, to publish in the Federal Register a notice of any proposed modification of the tariff schedules and to provide an opportunity for interested parties to to present their views to the Commission. Requires the Tariff Commission to keep the effect of modifications under observation for a period of five years, and to report to the President any substantial increase in the imports of such articles.

Requires the President to terminate promptly the modification of the duty or other import restriction of any article which the President determines has been a imported in substantially increasing amounts in injury to domestic parties producing a like or directly competitive article. Authorizes the President to terminate at any time, in whole or in part, any action taken under his power to simplify and modify the tariff schedules of the United States.