H.R. 4621 (112th): United States-Brazil Ethanol Open Market Agreements Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Apr 25, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4621

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 25, 2012

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To authorize negotiations with Brazil to eliminate tariffs and trade barriers to United States ethanol exports.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the United States-Brazil Ethanol Open Market Agreements Act.

2.

Findings and statement of policy

(a)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

Brazil is the second largest consumer of ethanol after the United States. For the United States ethanol industry, Brazil represents a valuable and growing market for United States exports of ethanol. More than one-third of United States ethanol exports were destined for Brazil in 2011.

(2)

Over the last 5 years, exports of United States ethanol have risen dramatically, from approximately 100,000,000 gallons annually, to nearly 500,000,000 gallons exported in 2010, and climbing to more than 1,000,000,000 gallons in 2011 at an estimated $2,500,000,000.

(3)

Intervention in the ethanol sector by the Government of Brazil has distorted the market for imported ethanol in Brazil. To date, Brazil has manipulated the ethanol blending requirement with the effect of reducing demand for imported ethanol; used price controls on gasoline thus reducing demand for ethanol imports; used tax policies to favor consumption of Brazilian produced ethanol over imported ethanol; and subsidized the Brazilian ethanol industry through infrastructure and other policies that encourage Brazilian production and exports. The Brazilian government’s actions have had a direct and detrimental impact on United States exports of ethanol to Brazil.

(4)

Brazil recently issued a temporary waiver of its 20 percent import tariff on ethanol but retains the ability to revoke the waiver and impose tariffs on United States ethanol.

(5)

At the end of 2011, the United States Government allowed additional duties on ethanol under subchapter I of chapter 99 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to expire.

(6)

The Western Hemisphere has developed a diversified yet integrated supply chain for ethanol production binding Brazil, the Caribbean, and the United States. Preservation of this mutually beneficial relationship in ethanol production should be a key priority in trade negotiations with Brazil.

(b)

Statement of policy

Congress calls on the President, acting through the Office of the United States Trade Representative, to enter into negotiations with Brazil for the purpose of reaching a binding and enforceable agreement removing tariff and nontariff barriers to United States ethanol exports to Brazil, consistent with the objectives of the Caribbean Basin Initiative.

3.

Authority to enter into ethanol trade negotiations with Brazil

(a)

Principal trade negotiating objectives

The principal trade negotiating objectives of the United States for the agreement described in subsection (b) are—

(1)

to obtain open and reciprocal market access for trade in ethanol products between the United States and Brazil;

(2)

to obtain the elimination of barriers and distortions imposed by the national Government of Brazil or its state governments that are directly related to trade in ethanol and that decrease market opportunities for United States ethanol exports to Brazil;

(3)

to ensure a stable market for United States ethanol exports to Brazil, by obtaining a binding, enforceable agreement with appropriate dispute settlement procedures; and

(4)

to promote energy independence and regional stability by preserving existing Caribbean preference programs that strengthen the integrated hemispheric ethanol supply chain among Brazil, the Caribbean nations, and the United States.

(b)

Authority To enter into negotiations with Brazil

(1)

In general

The President is authorized to enter into negotiations with Brazil for the purpose of concluding a trade agreement that achieves the trade negotiating objectives of subsection (a).

(2)

Congressional notification

The President shall notify the Committees on Ways and Means and Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Finance and Agriculture of the Senate in writing not later than 30 days after commencing negotiations under paragraph (1).

4.

Extension of additional duty on ethanol

(a)

In general

Heading 9901.00.50 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States is amended by striking 1/1/2012 in the effective period column and inserting 1/1/2015.

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) applies to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after the 15th day after the date of the enactment of this Act.

5.

Presidential proclamation authority and certification of an ethanol open market agreement

(a)

In general

Beginning on the date on which submits to Congress a certification described in subsection (b), and subject to the consultation and layover provisions of section 6, the President is authorized to proclaim the suspension of the extension of the additional duty on ethanol under heading 9901.00.50 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, as amended by section 4 of this Act.

(b)

Certification described

The certification referred to in subsection (a) is a certification by the President that the United States has obtained an enforceable agreement with the Government of Brazil that eliminates all tariffs and nontariff barriers on imported United States-produced ethanol, including binding Brazil’s tariff rate on imports of United States ethanol at an effective rate of zero.

6.

Consultation and layover provisions for, and effective date of, proclaimed actions

The consultation and layover requirements of this section are that the President may proclaim an action described in section 5 only if—

(1)

the President has obtained advice regarding the proposed action from—

(A)

the appropriate advisory committees established under section 135 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2155); and

(B)

the International Trade Commission;

(2)

the President has submitted to the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives a report that sets forth—

(A)

the action proposed to be proclaimed and the reasons for the action, including a description of how the trade negotiating objectives in section 3 have been met; and

(B)

the advice obtained under paragraph (1);

(3)

a period of 60 calendar days, beginning on the first day on which the requirements set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) have been met, has expired; and

(4)

the President has consulted with the committees referred to in paragraph (2) regarding the proposed action during the period referred to in paragraph (3).

7.

Review of status of negotiations with Brazil on establishment of duty-free trade in ethanol

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 12 months thereafter, the President shall submit to the Committees on Ways and Means and Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Finance and Agriculture of the Senate a report on the status of trade negotiations described in section 3.

8.

Congressional disapproval of presidential certification

(a)

General rule

(1)

In general

The proclamation authority under section 5 shall cease to be effective if a joint resolution described in subsection (b) is enacted into law pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (2).

(2)

Procedural Provisions

(A)

In general

The requirements of this paragraph are met if the joint resolution described in subsection (b) is enacted in accordance with the procedures described in subsection (b), and—

(i)

Congress adopts and transmits the joint resolution to the President before the end of the 90-day period (excluding any day described in section 154(b) of the Trade Act of 1974), beginning on the date on which the Congress receives the certification referred to section 5; and

(ii)

if the President vetoes the joint resolution, each House of Congress votes to override that veto on or before the later of the last day of the 90-day period referred to in clause (i) or the last day of the 15-day period (excluding any day described in section 154(b) of the Trade Act of 1974) beginning on the date on which the Congress receives the veto message from the President.

(B)

Introduction

A joint resolution to which this section applies may be introduced at any time on or after the date on which the President transmits to Congress a certification described in section 4, and before the end of the 90-day period referred to in subparagraph (A).

(b)

Joint resolutions

(1)

Joint Resolutions

For purposes of this section, the term joint resolution means only a joint resolution of the two Houses of Congress, the matter after the resolving clause of which is as follows: That the suspension of the extension of the additional duty on ethanol under heading 9901.00.50 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, as proclaimed by the President under section 5 of the United States-Brazil Ethanol Open Market Agreements Act, is hereby rescinded..

(2)

Procedures

(A)

In general

A joint resolution under this subsection may be introduced in either House of the Congress by any member of such House.

(B)

Committee and floor procedures

Subject to the provisions of this subsection, the provisions of subsections (b), (d), (e), and (f) of section 152 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2192(b), (d), (e), and (f)) apply to a joint resolution under this subsection to the same extent as such provisions apply to a joint resolution under section 152 of such Act.

(C)

Committee discharge

If the committee of either House to which a joint resolution under this subsection has been referred has not reported it by the close of the 45th day after its introduction (excluding any day described in section 154(b) of the Trade Act of 1974), such committee shall be automatically discharged from further consideration of the joint resolution and it shall be placed on the appropriate calendar.

(D)

Committees

It is not in order for—

(i)

the Senate to consider any joint resolution unless it has been reported by the Committee on Finance or the committee has been discharged under subparagraph (C); or

(ii)

the House of Representatives to consider any joint resolution unless it has been reported by the Committee on Ways and Means or the committee has been discharged under subparagraph (C).

(E)

Consideration in House of Representatives

A motion in the House of Representatives to proceed to the consideration of a joint resolution may only be made on the second legislative day after the calendar day on which the Member making the motion announces to the House his or her intention to do so.

(3)

Consideration of second resolution not in order

It shall not be in order in either the House of Representatives or the Senate to consider a joint resolution under this subsection (other than a joint resolution received from the other House), if that House has previously adopted a joint resolution under this subsection.

(c)

Rules of House of Representatives and Senate

This section is enacted by Congress—

(1)

as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the House of Representatives and the Senate, respectively, and as such is deemed a part of the rules of each House, respectively, and such procedures supersede other rules only to the extent that they are inconsistent with such other rules; and

(2)

with the full recognition of the constitutional right of either House to change the rules (so far as relating to the procedures of that House) at any time, in the same manner, and to the same extent as any other rule of that House.

9.

Rule of construction

Nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act shall be construed to modify any benefit conferred under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (19 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.).