Summary: S.2773 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2773. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (05/29/1980)

National Export Policy Act of 1980 - Title I: General Findings and Purposes - Sets forth congressional findings and the purposes of this Act.

Title II: Export Financing - Amends the Export - Import Bank Act of 1945 to direct the Export-Import Bank to adopt export finance programs comparable in structure to those extraordinary measures of official export credits offered by competing countries, until such financing is limited by international agreements. Requires the Bank to report annually to Congress as to whether any additional appropriations or any increases in its commitment authority or ceiling levels are necessary to carry out this Act. States that this Act shall not take effect until six months after enactment, unless the President defers the effective date for an additional six months. Declares it to be the policy of the Congress that the Export-Import Bank of the United States should facilitate, particularly in the presence of foreign officially-supported export credit competition, exports to countries: (1) having insufficient access to international credit facilities; (2) demonstrating reasonable economic progress; and (3) offering adequate formal assurances of repayment (currently, must offer sufficient likelihood of repayment). Increases the aggregate amount of loans and contractual liability of guarantees and insurance which may be outstanding at any one time. Requires such activities to be carried out through the Export Expansion Facility. Provides for the capitalization of such Facility.

Establishes staggered, ten-year terms of office for the Bank directors.

Declares that the House and Senate Appropriations Committees should consider limitations on Bank activities when considering appropriations for international trade activities rather than when considering foreign assistance activities.

Title III: Export - Related Tax Policy - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to increase the earned income exclusion for United States citizens working abroad, who are bona fide residents of a foreign country, from an annual rate of $20,000 to: (1) $50,000; or (2) $65,000, if such persons qualify as bona fide residents for certain specified periods. Allows separate exclusions to married individuals who are both working overseas, although one's excess exclusion cannot be used against income earned by the other. Waives the residency requirements to qualify for such exclusion for those required to leave a foreign country because of civil unrest, war, or similar adverse conditions precluding the normal conduct of business.

Reduces from 17 to 11 months the foreign residency requirement with respect to the deduction for certain housing expenses of living abroad. Revises the formula for determining the base housing amount with regard to such deduction to make it 16 percent of the salary of a GS-14, step 1. Repeals similar deductions for cost-of-living differential, schooling expenses, home leave travel expenses, and residence in a hardship area.

Provides that the foreign bad debt loss deduction shall not exceed the greater of 15 percent of the taxpayer's taxable income from exports, or two percent of the taxpayer's export receivables outstanding at the close of the taxable year. Provides that the amount of bad debt losses that may be added to a bad debt reserve shall not exceed five percent of the taxpayer's export receivables outstanding as of the close of the taxable year.

Permits the amortization, based on a period of 60 months, of: (1) foreign market studies; (2) foreign marketing expenses; and (3) foreign patents.

Permits an income tax deduction for currency fluctuation losses on export credit which have not been repaid by the end of the taxable year.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to extend the six-month deadline for exempting exports from the manufacturer's excise tax for an additional 12 months if it is determined, after consultation with the Secretary of State, that exports were delayed because of war, civil unrest, or similar adverse conditions in a foreign nation.

Amends the Foreign Trade Zones Act to authorize the Secretary of Commerce to approve the duty-free entry of machinery, materials, and fuels to be used for the production of goods in a foreign trade zone if such goods are not subsequently entered into U.S. customs territory. Sets forth requirements before applications for such treatment will be approved. Makes such approval valid for six years. Requires the Foreign Trade Zones Board to include in its annual report to Congress a summary of activities and proposals to increase the use of foreign trade zones to expand U.S. exports.

Makes banking organizations which have invested in an export trading company eligible for treatment as domestic international sales corporations (DISC). Includes the gross receipts from the export of services produced in the United States and from export trade services as qualified export receipts, in the case of a DISC which is an export trading company. Directs the Secretary of Commerce, with the Secretary of the Treasury, to develop and distribute information concerning the utilization of the DISC provisions.

Makes export trading companies eligible for Subchapter S treatment if the shareholders of such companies are otherwise small business corporations. Exempts such companies from restrictions on the amount of foreign income they can receive and still be eligible for Subchapter S tax treatment.

Title IV: Antitrust - Amends the Webb-Pomerene Act to exempt the export trade, export trade activities, and methods of operation of certified export trade associations and export trading companies from the antitrust laws. Delays the effectiveness of any certificate upon the notification of the Secretary of Commerce by the Attorney General or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of disagreement with the decision to issue a certificate.

Sets forth the procedure to be followed by any association, company, or export trading company seeking certification under this Act and by the Secretary in issuing such certificates.

Provides for appeal of the Secretary's denial of certification. Authorizes the Attorney General or the FTC to bring an action to invalidate a certification. Requires the Secretary, in consultation with the Attorney General and the FTC, to publish guidelines for determining whether an association or export trading company will meet the certification requirements. Requires certified associations and export trading companies to submit annual reports to the Secretary.

Directs the Secretary to establish within the Department of Commerce an office to promote export trade associations and trading companies. Provides for automatic certification of existing associations. Requires that all applications for certification be kept confidential with specified exceptions. Authorizes the Secretary to require an association or trading company to modify its operation to be consistent with international obligations of the United States.

Directs the President to appoint, with the Senate's advice and consent, a task force seven years after enactment to examine the effect of this Act and to make recommendations.

Directs the Attorney General to study whether: (1) U.S. business conduct to expand exports conflicts with basic antitrust principles; and (2) a more liberal enforcement policy for overseas activities would impede implementation of the antitrust laws. Requires the Attorney General to identify such conduct which would not warrant prosecution under the antitrust laws. Sets forth the procedures for describing such permissible conduct and disclosing such descriptions. Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to intervene in such suits and to provide legal assistance to exporters.

Prohibits prosecution under the antitrust laws of exporters who: (1) have notified the Attorney General of their intention to engage in such designated conduct; or (2) receive an approval, or no objection, from the Attorney General concerning proposed transactions.

Requires the Attorney General and the Secretary of Commerce to report to Congress concerning implementation of this section.

Title V: Amendments to Other Laws That Hinder Exports - Amends the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 to change the name of such Act to the Business Practices and Records Act.

Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to require issuers of securities to keep their books and maintain a system of internal accounting controls in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Makes issuers liable for knowingly falsifying any books or for the intentionally wrongful maintenance or circumvention of the system of internal accounting controls. Requires only good faith efforts by issuers holding 50 percent or less of the equity capital to use their influence to cause transactions and dispositions of assets to be carried out consistent with such provisions.

Repeals the provisions specifying prohibited foreign corrupt practices by issuers. Amends the Business Practices and Records Act to include issuers within the provisions specifying prohibited foreign corrupt practices by domestic concerns. Permits items of value to be given to foreigners in specified circumstances, including courtesy items, demonstration expenses, and payments lawful under the laws of the country of the intended recipient.

Directs the Attorney General to issue guidelines specifying permissible conduct and arrangements associated with common types of export sales arrangements and business contracts and precautionary procedures creating a rebuttable presumption of compliance.

Provides for the establishment of a Business Practices and Records Act Review Procedure to answer specific inquiries concerning enforcement of such Act. Requires the Attorney General to issue opinions regarding compliance. Makes such opinions final and binding on all parties if the conduct does not involve a violation.

Requires annual reports to Congress by: (1) the Attorney General concerning actions taken pursuant to such Act; and (2) the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning the reporting requirements.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should negotiate agreements establishing standards of conduct for international business practices, a resolution procedure, and rates of commissions. Directs the President to report to Congress concerning the progress of such negotiations. Requires Congress to review the Business Practices and Records Act after receiving the President's report.

Requires an export competitiveness impact statement from any issuing authority taking significant action which could affect adversely U.S. exports or the international competitive position of the United States and its exporters.

Expresses the sense of Congress that export paperwork must be reduced to encourage export sales. Requires all agencies to minimize paperwork and reporting requirements.

Title VI: Export Awareness and Export Promotion Programs - Export Trading Company Act of 1980 - Directs the Secretary of Commerce to promote export trading companies and facilitate contracts between producers of exportable goods and export trading companies.

Authorizes any banking organization to invest up to specified amounts in export trading companies upon notifying, but without obtaining the prior approval of, the appropriate Federal banking agency, if such investment does not cause an export trading company to become a subsidiary of such organization. Allows greater investment by Edge Act Corporations not engaged in banking. Permits any banking organization to invest beyond such limitations with the prior approval of the appropriate Federal banking agency. Requires prior notification of such agencies in specified circumstances.

Sets forth further limitations on export trading companies and investments by banking organizations. Specifies factors to be taken into consideration by the banking agencies. Permits such agencies to impose conditions in approving applications to invest in export trading companies. Requires such agencies to report to the appropriate congressional committees concerning implementation of this Act and any recommendations. Provides for judicial review of denial orders in the appropriate U.S. Court of Appeals. Sets forth the grounds for disapproval. Provides for remand for further consideration by the banking agency.

Directs the Economic Development Administration and the Small Business Administration to give special weight to export-related benefits when considering applications for loans and guarantees by export trading companies.

Directs the Export-Import Bank of the United States to provide loan guarantees to export trading companies or exporters to be secured by accounts receivable or inventories when adequate financing is not otherwise available and such guarantees will facilitate expansion of exports.

Small Business Export Expansion Act of 1980 - Amends the Small Business Act to authorize the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to permit participating lending institutions to take actions on behalf of the Administrator with respect to deferred participation loans. Empowers the SBA either directly or in cooperation with lending institutions, to extend credit for export purposes to enable small business concerns to develop foreign markets. Limits the extension of such credit to periods of 18 months or less. Sets a maximum of $750,000 which may be committed to any borrower from the business loan and investment revolving fund.

Establishes within the Administration an Office of International Trade to promote sales opportunities for small business goods and services abroad. Requires such Office to: (1) provide small businesses with access to current and complete export information; (2) encourage greater small business participation in trade fairs, shows, missions, and other domestic and overseas export development activities of the Department of Commerce; and (3) assign full-time export development specialists to each Administration regional office.

Directs the Administrator, after consultation with specified agencies, to establish an export promotion center in each of two regional offices of the Administration where field offices of the Department of Commerce and the Internal Revenue Service exist. Requires each such center to serve as a one- stop information center on Federal Government export assistance, financing programs available to small business, and other provisions of law governing exporting for small business. Requires: (1) a progress report on the implementation of such centers to the appropriate Congressional committees within six months of enactment of this Act; and (2) an evaluation, within two years after enactment, of the effectiveness of such centers in developing and expanding small business exports.

Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to make grants to qualified applicants to encourage the development and implementation of small business international marketing programs. Sets forth eligibility requirements for applicants. Prohibits the use of any Federal funds to directly underwrite any small business participation in foreign trade missions abroad.

Requires each small business international marketing program to: (1) have a full-time staff director to manage program activities; (2) have access to export specialists to counsel and assist small business clients; and (3) establish an advisory board.

Directs the Secretary to require, as a condition to any grant, that an additional amount equal to twice the amount of such grant be provided from sources other than the Federal Government.

Directs the Secretary to develop a plan to evaluate such programs to: (1) determine the impact of such programs on the small businesses assisted; (2) determine the amount of export sales generated by such businesses; and (3) make recommendations concerning continuation and/or expansion of the program.

Requires the establishment of at least one small business international program within each region of the Department of Commerce.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce, through the International Trade Administration, to maintain a central clearinghouse for the collection, dissemination, and exchange of information between such programs.

Directs the Secretary to enter into cooperative agreements with industrial corporations to develop foreign markets for their products. Requires the Secretary to direct specific market research for the products involved in foreign markets upon entering such agreements. Permits interested industrial corporations to submit a proposal incorporating specific marketing actions to the Secretary. Authorizes the Secretary to enter into a marketing agreement after approving any such proposal. Requires repayment of the Federal share of the costs by the entity entering into such an agreement.

International Education Programs Act - Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to direct the Secretary of Education to make grants to, and contracts with, institutions of higher education to pay the Federal share of the cost of programs designed to promote linkages between such institutions and the American business community engaged in international economic activities. Requires higher education institutions to apply for such grants and contracts. Limits the amount of Federal assistance. Provides for an advisory board to consider the grants made, or contracts entered into, and to review programs established under this section.

Directs each Federal agency and U.S. representative to any international organization to: (1) identify programs affecting the export of U.S. firms' services; (2) make available information concerning such programs; (3) establish programs to publicize export-related programs for services; and (4) modify those programs with an adverse effect on the export of services. Makes the Secretary of Commerce responsible for coordinating such programs.

Directs the Department of Treasury to report to Congress concerning the feasibility of extending DISC treatment to the export of services.

Title VII: Agricultural Exports - Amends the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to establish the Agricultural Export Credit Revolving Fund to be available for: (1) the export of, or aid in the development of foreign markets for, agricultural commodities; and (2) loans for the acquisition of facilities in foreign countries to improve the countries' capacities to handle agri-commodities exported from the United States. Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to report to Congress annually concerning the export credit sales program. Abolishes such fund effective October 1, 1983.

Amends the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 to require the ratio of credit extended by the Export-Import Bank for agricultural exports in comparison with the total amount extended be at least equivalent to the value of agricultural exports in comparison with total value of exports. Specifies exceptions to this requirement. Requests the President to take action to establish an International Wheat Exporting Commission which would establish an annual minimum world market price for wheat and prescribe export quotas. Requires the President to keep Congress informed about the establishment of such Commission and to report annually once such Commission is established.

Title VIII: International Agreements - Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the multilateral trade agreement be strongly implemented; and (2) the efforts must continue to secure a freer world trading environment.

Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to implement a special export subsidy program for agricultural commodities to neutralize the effects of foreign export subsidy programs. Specifies the circumstances required before such program may be implemented.

Expresses the sense of Congress that the President should enter negotiations for international codes of: (1) official export financing; (2) business conduct; (3) reciprocity of antitrust enforcement; and (4) fair trade in services. Requires the President to report to Congress concerning the progress of such negotiations.

Title IX: Government Support of Export Goals - Overseas Private Investment Corporation Act of 1980 - Establishes the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) as an independent agency. Sets forth the duties of OPIC.

Provides for the capital of OPIC to be paid in through the appropriation process and through transfer from OPIC's earned income.

Sets forth the structure of OPIC with a Board of Directors, a President of the Corporation, an Executive Vice President of the Corporation, other officers and staff, and consultants.

Authorizes OPIC to issue insurance to eligible investors covering new or existing investments protecting against specified risks. Authorizes OPIC to make arrangements with foreign governments or multilateral organizations for sharing liabilities. Limits the insurance that may be issued to a single investor. Authorizes OPIC to issue guarantees of loans and other investments. Sets forth limitations on such guarantees. Authorizes OPIC to make direct loans to privately owned or mixed publicly and privately owned firms for projects sponsored by or significantly involving United States small businesses or cooperatives. Limits the circumstances under which OPIC may acquire stock in any other corporation.

Authorizes OPIC to initiate and support the identification, assessment, and promotion of private investment opportunities, with specified exceptions. Authorizes OPIC to administer special projects to provide private technical, professional, or managerial assistance in the development of human resources, skills, technology, capital savings, and intermediate financial institutions and cooperatives. Authorizes OPIC to engage in other insurance, reinsurance, and risk sharing activities with other insurance companies, financial institutions, persons, or groups. Limits the amount of reinsurance of liabilities which OPIC may issue.

Limits the amount of maximum contingent liability pursuant to insurance or guarantees issued under this Act which may be outstanding at any one time.

Establishes the: (1) Direct Investment Fund as a revolving fund to be available for direct investments; and (2) Insurance Reserve and Guaranty Reserve to be available for discharging liabilities. Authorizes appropriations to the investment and guaranty fund in specified circumstances. Authorizes OPIC to issue obligations in specified circumstances in order to discharge liabilities.

Requires that all revenues and income transferred to or earned by OPIC be available to carry out OPIC's purposes.

Directs OPIC to determine that suitable arrangements exist for protecting OPIC's interests in connection with any insurance, guaranty, or reinsurance issued under this Act.

Pledges the full faith and credit of the United States for the full payment and performance of previous obligations.

Sets forth conditions with respect to insurance, guaranty, and reinsurance coverage under this Act concerning fees, time limits, fraud, and settlement of disputes.

Sets forth administrative provisions and duties applicable to OPIC.

Requires OPIC to undertake to broaden the participation of United States small business, cooperatives, and other small investors in the development of small private enterprise in less developed friendly countries or areas.

Directs OPIC to report annually to Congress concerning its operations.

Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to define "eligible investor" in terms of this Act with respect to housing guarantees. Repeals provisions: (1) prohibiting the transfer of OPIC funds between accounts; (2) authorizing the President to deny assistance to any less developed country which fails to enter into an agreement to institute the investment guaranty program; and (3) establishing OPIC.

Stipulates that nothing in this part shall be construed as terminating any of OPIC's statutory authority. Requires the President to submit to the appropriate congressional committees any necessary technical or conforming amendments.

Declares that the potential for U.S. exports shall be a primary decisionmaking factor in considering which projects to include in U.S. foreign aid programs.

Requires the Director of the International Development Cooperation Agency (IDCA) to transfer the functions of the Office of Reimbursable Development from the Agency for International Development to an independent functional status within the IDCA.

Declares that the Office of Management and Budget should assure that adequate budget allocations are made available to carry out the programs prescribed in this Act.

Declares that the Department of Justice should do what it can to facilitate procedures for exporters.

Declares that the Small Business Administration should: (1) be aware of the benefits of export to small business development; and (2) use every opportunity to provide information and assistance to potential exporters.

Declares that the U.S. ability to export coal, nuclear power fuels, and other energy materials in a reliable manner should be a key consideration.

Directs congressional committees to include in their reports the effect of the bill or resolution on the international competitiveness of the United States.

Creates a National Export Council to: (1) serve as a national advisory body on matters relating to United States export trade; (2) act as a liaison among the communities represented by its membership; and (3) provide advice on Federal plans and actions that affect export promotion and development policies which have an impact on those communities represented by its membership. Requires the Council to make an annual report to the President and the Congress on its activities.

Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to appoint commercial ministers, counselors, and attaches with the rank and privileges of other ministers, counselors, and attaches in U.S. embassies and consulates, to: (1) provide trade and commercial services; (2) engage in the promotion of U.S. exports; (3) file semiannual reports to the Secretary on market, industrial, and commodity conditions in their districts and on the implementation of multilateral and bilateral trade agreements; and (4) maintain current data on the commercial standing and capacity of foreign firms within their districts. Provides for domestic assignment, office logistics, allowances and benefits of such ministers, counselors, and attaches.

Directs the Comptroller General to report to Congress with any recommendations concerning: (1) the organization of international trading and financing programs in the United States; (2) the effectiveness of foreign export promotion programs; and (3) the trade activities of specified Federal agencies.

Expresses the sense of Congress that the appropriate congressional committees should review periodically the trade organization of the U.S. Government.