ANNOUNCEMENT 18 Dec 2015
On December 18, 2015 President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (formerly H.R.2029 and now Public Law No. 114-113). This is a very wide-ranging measure that authorizes programs in many different areas of public policy. One of the more significant trade-related provisions in this bill is the repeal of long-standing restrictions on the exportation of oil. The law also repeals a controversial provision requiring the country-of-origin labeling of meat.
Below are summarized those provisions that are related to trade, apart from those that might be classified as sanctions related to foreign policy, phytosanitary measures, or other matters outside the scope of GTA reporting.
Note that omnibus measures of this sort do not always follow the usual practice of sequentially numbering their various titles and sections. Some of the items summarized below have no section numbers at all.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Section 101(a) repeals the restrictions on oil exports that had been provided under Section 103 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, and section 101(b) states that, 'Notwithstanding any other provision of law, except as provided in subsections (c) and (d), to promote the efficient exploration, production, storage, supply, marketing, pricing, and regulation of energy resources, including fossil fuels, no official of the Federal Government shall impose or enforce any restriction on the export of crude oil.' The law also provides for the reimposition of restrictions under certain circumstances.
Section 410 places restrictions on the exportation of certain timber by requiring that this timber first be made available for domestic sales. It provides that ''n'o timber sale in Alaska's Region 10 shall be advertised if the indicated rate is deficit (defined as the value of the timber is not sufficient to cover all logging and stumpage costs and provide a normal profit and risk allowance under the Forest Service's appraisal process) when appraised using a residual value appraisal. The western red cedar timber from those sales which is surplus to the needs of the domestic processors in Alaska, shall be made available to domestic processors in the contiguous 48 United States at prevailing domestic prices. All additional western red cedar volume not sold to Alaska or contiguous 48 United States domestic processors may be exported to foreign markets at the election of the timber sale holder. All Alaska yellow cedar may be sold at prevailing export prices at the election of the timber sale holder.'
Section 517 prohibits, subject to certain restrictions, the enforcement by U.S. officials of any requirements for an export license for the export to Canada of components, parts, accessories or attachments for certain firearms worth up to $500 wholesale in any transaction. It further provides that the president may require export licenses under this section on a temporary basis if he determines that the Government of Canada has implemented or maintained inadequate import controls, such that a significant diversion of such articles has and continues to take place for use in international terrorism or in the escalation of a conflict in another nation.
An unnumbered provision appropriate $18,000,000 for 'grants to States to carry out export programs that assist small business concerns.'
Section 730 provides that ''none of the funds made available by this Act may be used to procure processed poultry products imported into the United States from the People's Republic of China for use in the school lunch program under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.), the Child and Adult Food Care Program under section 17 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1766), the Summer Food Service Program for Children under section 13 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1761), or the school breakfast program under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.).'
Trade- and Investment-Related Requirements in Foreign Assistance and Related Programs
Section 7025 generally provides that ''n'one of the funds appropriated or made available pursuant to titles III through VI of this Act for direct assistance and none of the funds otherwise made available to the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation shall be obligated or expended to finance any loan, any assistance, or any other financial commitments for establishing or expanding production of any commodity for export by any country other than the United States, if the commodity is likely to be in surplus on world markets at the time the resulting productive capacity is expected to become operative and if the assistance will cause substantial injury to United States producers of the same, similar, or competing commodity: Provided, That such prohibition shall not apply to the Export-Import Bank if in the judgment of its Board of Directors the benefits to industry and employment in the United States are likely to outweigh the injury to United States producers of the same, similar, or competing commodity, and the Chairman of the Board so notifies the Committees on Appropriations.'
Section 7080 generally provides that ''none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available under titles III through VI of this Act may be obligated or expended to provide- (1) any financial incentive to a business enterprise currently located in the United States for the purpose of inducing such an enterprise to relocate outside the United States if such incentive or inducement is likely to reduce the number of employees of such business enterprise in the United States because United States production is being replaced by such enterprise outside the United States' or '(3) any assistance to an entity outside the United States if such assistance is for the purpose of directly relocating or transferring jobs from the United States to other countries and adversely impacts the labor force in the United States.'
Section 509 provides that ''none of the funds provided by this Act shall be available to promote the sale or export of tobacco or tobacco products, or to seek the reduction or removal by any foreign country of restrictions on the marketing of tobacco or tobacco products, except for restrictions which are not applied equally to all tobacco or tobacco products of the same type.'
An unnumbered provision allows for 'funds 'to' be available for 'United Nations' peacekeeping expenses unless the Secretary of State determines that American manufacturers and suppliers are not being given opportunities to provide equipment, services, and material for United Nations peacekeeping activities equal to those being given to foreign manufacturers and suppliers.'
Section 7031(d)(2)(A) provides 'that it is the policy of the United States to vote against any assistance by 'international financial institutions' (including any loan, credit, grant, or guarantee) to any country for the extraction and export of a natural resource if the government of such country has in place laws, regulations, or procedures to prevent or limit the public disclosure of company payments as required by United States law, and unless such government has adopted laws, regulations, or procedures in the sector in which assistance is being considered for- (i) accurately accounting for and public disclosure of payments to the host government by companies involved in the extraction and export of natural resources; (ii) the independent auditing of accounts receiving such payments and public disclosure of the findings of such audits; and (iii) public disclosure of such documents as Host Government Agreements, Concession Agreements, and bidding documents, allowing in any such dissemination or disclosure for the redaction of, or exceptions for, information that is commercially proprietary or that would create competitive disadvantage.'
Section 8125 of the Department of Defence Appropriations Act provides that ''none of the funds provided in this Act for the T-AO(X) program shall be used to award a new contract that provides for the acquisition of the following components unless those components are manufactured in the United States: Auxiliary equipment (including pumps) for shipboard services; propulsion equipment (including engines, reduction gears, and propellers); shipboard cranes; and spreaders for shipboard cranes.'
An unnumbered provision allocates to the U.S. Secret Service $1,854,526,000 for various purposes, including "purchase of motorcycles made in the United States." A similar provision - but without a specified value or amount - has been stipulated in the Appropriations Act for the Fiscal Year 2017. Hence, this intervention continues to be implemented.