S. 3899 (109th): Balanced Trade Restoration Act of 2006

109th Congress, 2005–2006. Text as of Sep 14, 2006 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

II

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3899

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 14, 2006

(for himself and Mr. Feingold) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance

A BILL

To achieve balance in the foreign trade of the United States, through a market-based system of tradable certificates, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Balanced Trade Restoration Act of 2006.

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

Since the 1990s, the United States has experienced record trade deficits that has made the United States the largest debtor country in the world.

(2)

In 2005, the merchandise trade deficit of the United States was a record $767,000,000,000, and in 2006, the merchandise trade deficit of the United States is projected to surpass the record set in 2005.

(3)

The surging trade deficits could soon create a balance of payments crisis for the United States, which could wreak havoc with the economy of the United States.

(4)

Article XII of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT 1994), annexed to the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization entered into on April 15, 1994, permits any member country to restrict the quantity or value of imports in order to safeguard the external financial position and the balance of payments of the member country.

(5)

In accordance with Article XII of the GATT 1994, the United States should take steps to restore balance to its merchandise trade, and safeguard its external financial position and its balance of payments.

(6)

The imposition of import restrictions should be phased in to allow the economy of the United States to absorb the impact of import restrictions with minimal disruption.

3.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Balanced Trade Certificate; Certificate

The terms Balanced Trade Certificate and Certificate mean a certificate issued pursuant to section 4 that provides the holder of the certificate with a license to import into the United States a good with an appraised value that is equal to or less than the face value of the certificate.

(2)

Department

The term Department means the Department of Commerce.

(3)

Oil or gas

The term oil or gas means any good classifiable under—

(A)

heading 2709 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (relating to petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude);

(B)

heading 2710 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (relating to petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, other than crude); and

(C)

heading 2711 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (relating to light oils and preparations).

(4)

Program

The term Program means the Balanced Trade Certificate Program established under section 4.

(5)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce.

4.

Establishment of Balanced Trade Program

(a)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall, in cooperation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, establish a Balanced Trade Certificate Program within the International Trade Administration of the Department. The purpose of the Program is to create gradually balance between the dollar value of goods imported into the United States and goods exported from the United States.

(b)

Regulatory authority

The Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall promulgate regulations in accordance with section 5 that provide for—

(1)

issuing Certificates to exporters;

(2)

collecting Certificates from importers;

(3)

valuing the Certificates issued and collected; and

(4)

trading Certificates.

5.

Operation of the Program

(a)

Exporters

(1)

Issuance of Certificates

The Program established under section 4 shall provide for the issuance of a Certificate to any person who exports a good from the United States with a face value equivalent to a multiple of the appraised value of the good determined pursuant to paragraph (2).

(2)

Value of Balanced Trade Certificates

(A)

Determination of value

The Secretary shall establish a system for the valuation of Certificates. To the extent practicable, the value of a Certificate shall be based upon the appraised value declared on the shipper's export declaration (SED), in accordance with subparagraph (B);

(B)

System of Valuation

The value of a Certificate shall be determined in accordance with the following table:

If a Certificate is issued:The face value of the Certificate is an amount equal to:
During the first year the Program is in operation140% of the appraised value of the good exported.
During the second year the Program is in operation130% of the appraised value of the good exported.
During the third year the Program is in operation120% of the appraised value of the good exported.
During the fourth year the Program is in operation110% of the appraised value of the good exported.
After the fourth year the Program is in operation100% of the appraised value of the good exported
(b)

Importers

(1)

Submission requirement

Except as described in paragraph (5), any person who imports a good into the United States shall submit to the Secretary of Homeland Security, not later than 90 days after the date on which the good enters the United States, a Certificate with an aggregate face value equal to or greater than the appraised value of the good imported pursuant to paragraph (2).

(2)

Valuation of imported goods

The Secretary shall establish a method for the valuation of goods imported into the United States. The method may include the use of the declared dollar value of the goods on the Entry Summary (United States Customs and Border Protection Form 7501).

(3)

Collection of Certificates

The Secretary shall establish a system for the collection of Certificates submitted by importers to the Secretary of Homeland Security.

(4)

Penalty for failure to supply Certificates

If a person imports a good into the United States and fails to submit a Certificate with an aggregate face value equal to, or greater than, the value of the good imported as required by paragraph (1), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall—

(A)

suspend the person from importing any good until such time as a Certificate required by paragraph (1) is submitted; and

(B)

impose a penalty equal to 3 times the appraised value of the good imported.

(5)

Exception for oil or gas

(A)

Adjustment period

During the period that begins on the date of the enactment of this Act and ends 5 years after such date, paragraph (1) shall not apply to a person who imports oil or gas into the United States.

(B)

Gradual valuation

At the end of the period described in subparagraph (A), any person who imports oil or gas into the United States shall submit to the Secretary of Homeland Security, not later than 90 days after the date on which the oil or gas enters the United States, a Certificate with an aggregate face value equal to, or greater than, the appraised value of the oil or gas imported pursuant to paragraph (2), adjusted in accordance with the following table:

If the oil or gas is imported:The aggregate face value of the Certificate required to import the oil or gas is:
During the sixth year the Program is in operation60% of the appraised value of the oil or gas imported.
During the seventh year the Program is in operation70% of the appraised value of the oil or gas imported.
During the eighth year the Program is in operation80% of the appraised value of the oil or gas imported.
During the ninth year the Program is in operation90% of the appraised value of the oil or gas imported.
After the ninth year the Program is in operation100% of the appraised value of the oil or gas imported.
(c)

Management of Certificates

(1)

Certificates removed from circulation

Upon the receipt of a Certificate from a person importing a good, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in cooperation with the Secretary, shall permanently remove the Certificate from circulation.

(2)

Transferability and Limitation on validity of Certificates

A Certificate issued pursuant to this Act shall be—

(A)

fully transferable; and

(B)

valid for 365 days from the date the Certificate is issued.