COMMITTEE FAVORABLY REPORTS CUSTOMS, STEEL BILLS
WASHINGTON -- The Senate Finance Committee today favorably reported out two trade bills, H.R. 1833, The Customs Authorization Act of 1999, as modified by the Senate Finance Committee and The Steel Trade Enforcement Act, as amended, an original bill authored by Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE). The Chairman's modifications to both bills are attached.
The Customs bill was reported out with a favorable voice vote. The steel bill was reported out with a favorable recorded vote of 9 - 2 (16-3 including proxy votes). The Committee approved one amendment (11-8 vote) to the steel bill which was offered by Senators Moynihan and Hatch. The amendment text is attached.
The Steel Trade Enforcement Act is meant to address the worldwide overcapacity of steel. This global steel glut is the result of market distorting government practices around the world. Without the elimination of these practices, many foreign steel producers will continue to be insulated from the capital market pressures that face the U.S. industry. The Steel Trade Enforcement Act is designed to implement a sustained strategy for eliminating the foreign government practices that continue to support the overcapacity in steel manufacturing worldwide.
This legislation would initiate an investigation of the market-distorting practices that insulate foreign steel manufacturers from competition in their domestic markets and insulate them from capital market pressures facing the steel industry in the United States. The legislation requires the development of a comprehensive government-wide strategy to eliminate foreign market-distorting practices affecting the U.S. Steel industry and institute a follow up mechanism akin to the provisions of Special 301 to ensure that action is taken to address the fundamental problem facing the steel industry today.
The legislation would also conform section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 to the standards provided under the World Trade Organization Agreement on Safeguards. The proposal would also establish a monitoring program to facilitate timely release of data on steel imports and a directive to the United States executive directors of the international financial institutions -- such as the World Bank and the International monetary Fund -- mandating that they use their voice and vote to prevent funds from the development banks being used to subsidize foreign steel capacity.
H.R. 1833, The Customs Authorization Act of 1999, as modified by the Senate Finance Committee reflects the findings of a series of oversight hearings and an exhaustive investigation of the Customs Service by the Committee.
The bill builds on the approach adopted in the 105th Congress by the Finance committee in the Committee's amendment to H.R. 3809, the Drug Free Borders Act of 1998 and several bills introduced in the 106th Congress. The core of the proposal authorizes appropriations to improve Customs' performance of its basic missions, the facilitation of trade and the enforcement of the customs laws. It also fulfills Congress' commitment to ensure the Customs Service's ability to better serve the trade community, as well as enhance its enforcement performance, by authorizing the appropriations needed to implement ACE.
Chairman's Modifications to The Steel Trade Enforcement Act Chairman's Modifications to The Customs Authorization Act of 1999 Moynihan/Hatch Amendment
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