U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

05/18/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/18/2021 18:08

Wyden Announces Legislation to Extend Trade Preferences and Tariff Relief

May 18,2021

Press Contact:

Keith Chu (202) 224-4515

Wyden Announces Legislation to Extend Trade Preferences and Tariff Relief

Washington, D.C. - Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced legislation to update and reauthorize three expired trade programs: the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) and the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (AMCA).

The Trade Preferences and American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2021 will extend duty-free access to the U.S. market for certain developing countries under GSP until 2027, with important updates to eligibility rules that ensure trade policy rewards advances in human rights, women's economic empowerment, labor, environment, rule of law and digital trade, among others.

The bill would also reauthorize the MTB to provide limited duty relief on certain manufacturing inputs and other imports that do not have significant domestic production and that were recommended for tariff reductions by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC). Finally, the bill would reauthorize the AMCA, which gives the USITC authority to conduct the MTB petition and recommendation process, for two more cycles.

'This legislation is an economic win-win,' Wyden said. 'It boosts developing countries that meet human rights, labor and environmental standards, and it's a major benefit for American manufacturers, including hundreds in Oregon. In particular, I want to thank Senator Carper for his work to include environmental criteria, Senator Cardin for his work to include criteria on human rights and the rule of law, and Senators Casey and Cortez Masto for their work on women's economic empowerment and labor. These updated criteria will help export American values to the developing world.'

Key elements of the Trade Preferences and American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act include:

  • Renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)
    • Extends the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which eliminates tariffs on certain goods from qualifying beneficiary developing countries, from December 31, 2020 until January 1, 2027.
    • Adds new mandatory eligibility criteria, which countries must meet to be eligible for GSP, on human rights and the environment.
    • Adds new discretionary criteria, which the President takes into account when designating a country as a GSP beneficiary, on the environment, women's economic empowerment, rule of law, and digital trade.
    • Updates the definition of 'internationally recognized worker rights' to include the elimination of discrimination in occupation and employment, which aligns that definition with USMCA and other trade agreements.
    • Provides a new requirement for regular country reviews and includes additional transparency requirements for administrative decisions made under the program.
    • Provides new reporting requirements on how GSP promotes worker rights and women's economic empowerment.
    • Requires the USITC to study GSP utilization rates, rules of origin, and article eligibility rules.
  • Authorizes the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill
    • The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) reduces or eliminates duties on certain imports (listed in the bill text) that were included at the recommendation of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).
    • Pursuant to the 2016 American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, the USITC considers petitions for tariff reductions on the basis of administrability, whether the revenue loss will be greater than $500,000 per year, and whether there is domestic production of the product.
    • Tariff relief will run through December 31, 2023 and be retroactive for four months.
  • Reauthorization of the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act
    • Reauthorizes the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (AMCA), which was first passed in 2016 and gives the USITC authority to conduct the MTB petition, review, and recommendation process.
    • Under this section, the AMCA would be reauthorized for two more MTB cycles, the first beginning in 2022 and the second beginning in 2025.

The full text of the legislation is available here.

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