Senators Brown and Stabenow have introduced the Trade Enforcement Priorities Act of 2011. The legislation “would require the USTR to analyze trade barriers in the National Trade Estimates Report to determine which have the most adverse effect on U.S. exports and employment. Under the bill, the USTR – in consultation with other relevant agencies and Congress – would be required to prioritize its enforcement strategy and work with those countries that have a pattern of unfair trade practices. If the USTR identifies a practice occurring in a country that has a signed a trade agreement with the U.S., previously agreed-to methods of addressing disputes would be used. For example, if an unfair practice is addressed under the WTO Agreement, USTR would be required to seek consultation under the dispute settlement process. If the practice is occurring in a country that does not have an agreement with the U.S., bilateral consultations would be required until an appropriate remedy is identified.”  The legislation does not specify intellectual property enforcement, but IP concerns are raised throughout the National Trade Estimate Report.

Click here for the text of the Trade Enforcement Priorities Act of 2011.

Click here for the Senators’ press release.