Carper Secures Major Trade Priorities in U.S. Innovation and Competition Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness and Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today hailed the Senate’s passage of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, which included several top trade priorities championed by Carper. The bill adds environmental criteria to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program for the first time, restarts and reforms the section 301 tariff exclusions process and includes the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), greatly benefiting Delaware.

“For too long, consumers, small business owners, retailers, manufacturers and farmers have felt the all too real consequences of China’s manipulation of the global trading markets. This bipartisan bill will increase transparency in U.S. trade actions, help boost U.S. competitiveness and take important steps to combat China’s unfair trade practices,” Carper said. “I’m especially proud that trade measures I’ve long championed were included in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, which taken together will give American businesses relief by restarting and reforming the Section 301 tariff exclusion process, ensure environmental protections are included in our trade relationships with developing nations, and reduce import tariffs paid by American businesses by more than $1.5 billion – saving Delaware businesses at least $87 million alone over the next three years. I want to thank Chairman Wyden and Ranking Member Crapo for their tenacious work and leadership to ensure these crucial trade priorities made it through the Senate.”

More information on trade measures championed by Carper in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, added onto an amendment authored by Sen. Mike Crapo:

Section 301 tariff exclusion process: In April, Senator Carper and Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) led a letter with 38 of their colleagues to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai asking her to restart the exclusion process for imports from China subject to tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act restarts and reforms that process, and includes robust, enhanced oversight. 

Addition of environmental criteria to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade program: The bill adds new environmental criteria to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade program, taking a long overdue and important step forward in incentivizing developing countries around the world to improve their environmental standards.

Miscellaneous Tariff Bill: The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act also includes the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, or MTB, which would reduce import tariffs by more than $1.5 billion over three years, bolstering manufacturers and other businesses in the United States, especially small and medium-sized manufacturers. Specifically, the MTB would support the competitiveness of manufacturers in Delaware by reducing the import tariffs they pay by at least $87 million over the next three years, benefitting a number of companies operating throughout the First State.

View full text of the amendment language here.