CONGRESS Act would toughen import regulations

Tougher laws would apply to Mexico and Canada, despite the NAFTA.
SHARON, Pa. -- U.S. Rep. Phil English of Erie, R-21st, has introduced legislation creating a new steel import monitoring program to help combat unfairly traded foreign steel.
The program is part of a package of updates to U.S trade laws found in The Trade Law Reform Act of 2001, introduced Thursday by English.
"Our outdated and ineffective trade laws cost America thousands of jobs," English said. "Congress must pass this legislation to strengthen trade laws to create a level playing field to allow U.S employers to compete fairly."
English is a member of the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee and chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus.
Outline: His plan speeds up the monitoring of steel import surges, giving the industry and the government advance notice of those surges, he said.
The new system also tracks the practices of key U.S. trading partners and ensures timely and accurate delivery of information to policymakers and the domestic industry.
Other changes found in the legislation would:
* Make it easier to demonstrate a link between imports and injury to a domestic industry.
* Direct the government to watch for successive waves of unfairly traded imports of a particular product that can leave a domestic industry in a weakened state.
* Give the agriculture industry more ability to challenge unfairly traded imports that compete with short shelf-life perishable agricultural products they produce by requiring the government to look at injury and causal factors on a seasonal basis.
* Ensure changes on anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws are applied to goods from Canada and Mexico despite the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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