Members of the Senate Finance Committee offered 97 amendments to legislation meant to implement the three bilateral free trade agreements pending in Congress at a “mark mock up” (which was boycotted by Republicans). Sen. Hatch offered 26 amendments to the Korea FTA implementation legislation, including 3 related to IP enforcement.
One amendment would require the administration to take steps to “to ensure that Chile has implemented its duty under the WIPO Internet Treaties and the FTA to provide effective legal protection for Intellectual Property Rights.” Another expresses the Sense of the Senate that “Russia needs to strengthen its protection of intellectual property rights – including significantly increasing its enforcement efforts against on-line piracy.” The last reauthorizes trade and enforcement functions of US enforcement agencies, including DHS, CBP and ICE.Click here for the full list of amendments to the Korea FTA implementation legislation.
Hatch Amendment #11: Express a Sense of the Senate regarding possible Russian accession to the WTO.
Russia needs to strengthen its protection of intellectual property rights – including significantly increasing its enforcement efforts against on-line piracy – curtail the use of unjustified sanitary restrictions to limit US agricultural exports to Russia, remove technical barriers to trade that affect the IT industry and generally strengthen the rule of law in Russia. WTO membership provides a valuable opportunity for countries to join the world trade community and thus make additional economic opportunities available to their people. Nevertheless, Russia must at a bare minimum bring itself into compliance with all major WTO obligations before the United States can support its accession to the WTO.
Hatch Amendment #12: Ensure that the Administration takes action to enforce the Intellectual Property Rights Protections agreed to in the Chilean Free Trade Agreement.
Chile has failed to implement in practice many of the enhanced protections that it pledged to provide years ago. As a result, piracy and counterfeiting remain rampant in the Chilean economy and Chile remains on USTR’s 2010 Priority Watch List. This is unacceptable and sends precisely the wrong message to both Chile and other present and future trading partners. The Administration is required to report to the Senate Finance Committee within 60 days on: What steps the Administration has taken to ensure that Chile has implemented its duty under the WIPO Internet Treaties and the FTA to provide effective legal protection for Intellectual Property Rights; What steps that Chile still needs to take; an explanation for why these implementation issues are still unresolved and what the Administration intends to do about it.
Hatch Amendment #16: Customs Reauthorization
Description of Amendment: The amendment reauthorizes the trade facilitation and trade enforcement functions of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and their programs for five years building upon the introduced 2009 Customs Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Reauthorization bill (S1631).
Modifications of the 2009 S1631 include provisions that 1) reorganize and reallocate staffing, resources and budget authority for DHS, CBP, and ICE to ensure balance between trade facilitation and trade enforcement functions; 2) strengthen interagency coordination to facilitate trade and enhance commercial enforcement, 3) consolidate trusted trader programs and enumerate specific benefits for companies that participate in the consolidated trusted trader program; 4) direct CBP to enhance and negotiate additional mutual recognition agreements with foreign customs authorities; 5) enhance deployment of CBP and ICE risk-based targeting centers and enforcement investigations to improve intellectual property rights protection, better combat AD/CVD evasion, increase collections, and resolve priority trade issues; 6) reform and elevate role of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of CBP as well as formalize and strengthen consultations with private sector on CBP trade policies; and 7) reform procedures and policies regarding duty drawback, de minimis, informal entry, bonding, trade secrets, revenue collection, importer of record, penalties, and postal shipments customs treatment.