June 17,1999


GSP, TAA, CBI and Africa Trade Bills on Agenda

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Finance Committee will meet on Tuesday, June 22 at 10:00 am in room 215 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building to mark up a series of trade bills. The four bills are: legislation expanding tariff preferences for the hurricane-hit Caribbean nations; legislation reauthorizing the Trade Adjustment Assistance program; legislation extending the General System of Preferences for two years and The Sub-Saharan African Growth and Opportunity Act. The Chairman's conceptual mark for each bill is on the Finance Committee web site at www.senate.gov/~finance.

The markup will also include the consideration of the nomination of Lawrence H. Summers, to be Secretary of the Treasury.


The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program was last reauthorized in P.L. 105-277, the omnibus appropriations bill passed at the end of the 105th Congress. It is set to expire on June 30, 1999. This bill will reauthorize the program.

The Generalized System of Preferences was also last extended in the final omnibus appropriations measure of the 105th Congress and is set to expire on June 30, 1999. This legislation will extend the program.

The U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Enhancement Act. This legislation would expand the existing CBI by providing for additional tariff preferences on a number of products not previously covered by the program. Those benefits are conditioned on the eligible beneficiary countries' trade policies, their participation and cooperation in the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas Agreement and other factors.

The Sub-Saharan African Growth and Opportunity Act. The Chairman's mark has four primary components. First, the mark provides eligible sub-Saharan African countries with enhanced benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences ("GSP") program. Second, the mark provides quota-free access to the United States for apparel products produced in eligible sub-Saharan African countries using U.S. fabric. Third, the mark directs the President to begin plans for implementing a United States-Sub-Saharan Africa free trade area. Fourth, the mark creates a United States-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum.