Committee on Rules

July 13, 1999 (4:15 p.m.)

Summary of Amendments Submitted to the Rules Committee on H.R. 434 - Africa Growth and Opportunity Act

(in alphabetical order)

Bishop/Myrick #16 Renames the textile section "Special Access Program for Textile and Apparel Articles from Eligible Countries" and eliminates the finding that there is "no threat to U.S. jobs...workers or manufacturers" as in reported in the bill; provides that the President consult with representatives of the domestic textile and apparel industry, and representatives of the beneficiary countries, as well as provide an opportunity for public comment before establishing a special access program for imports of textile and apparel articles; provides that the special access program established by the President should be modeled on the program in effect for Mexico which includes only those articles of apparel which have been assembled from fabric formed from the yarn-stage forward in the U.S. and cut in the U.S.; requires that any new program would need to be consistent with the international obligations of the U.S. under the GATT's Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, which provides for limits on imports if damage to a domestic industry results from increased imports; explicitly states an exemption for hand loomed, handmade and folklore articles from any quotas or duties or yarn-forward requirements; and adds a new section that increases the penalties for illegal transhippers of apparel goods, and ensures that any mitigation that U.S. Customs enters into with violators does not reduce the applicable fines and penalty amounts below 50% and allows for seizure and forfeiture of fraudulently marked containers of apparel, whereas current law only requires the impoundment and return of goods.

Brown (OH) #15 Requires multinational corporations and sub-Saharan African governments to respect internationally recognized worker rights in order to receive quota free treatment for their products.

Cummings #17 Increases the capacity of sub-Saharan African countries to acquire and use the date needed for global overlay/environmental assessments required for project financing by the World Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the U.S. Export/Import Bank and authorizes such sums as necessary for implementation of the project, with the assistance of NASA, Dept. of Energy, and historically Black colleges and universities.

Jackson (IL) #24 LATE. Prohibits the use of federal government funds for the purpose of seeking the revocation or revision of the laws of any sub-Saharan African country designed to promote the availability and affordability of pharmaceuticals, provided that these laws comply with the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and amends the eligibility criteria to encourage countries to enforce intellectual property rights in a manner no more stringent than is required by the WTO Agreement.

Jackson (IL) #25 Reserves quota free treatment for products at least 60% of the value added of which occurs in Africa and which are made at facilities where at least 90% of the employees are African citizens; provides an additional 50% tariff reduction for products made by corporations that are at least 51% African owned; and strengthens the human rights eligibility requirement and strikes other eligibility requirements.

Jackson (IL) #26 LATE. Restores an appropriation for sub-Saharan Africa in the Foreign Assistance Act at the 1994 level of assistance.

Jackson (IL) #27 LATE. Cancels the debt owed to the U.S. by sub-Saharan African nations; requires U.S. representatives to international financial institutions to use their voice and vote in favor of the cancellation of the debt of African nations to those institutions; and provides for the purchase by the federal government of the debt of African nations to private U.S. lenders at the market value as of January 1, 1999 and the subsequent cancellation of the debt.

Jackson (IL) #29 LATE. Requires that Overseas Private Investment Corporation Infrastructure Funds provided in the bill be targeted for the following purposes: basic health services, potable water, sanitation, schools, rural electrification and accessible transportation; requires that 70% of trade financing and investment insurance provided by OPIC be allocated to small, women and minority-owned businesses with at least 60% African ownership and 40% U.S. ownership and that 50% of funds for energy projects be used for renewable and/or alternative energy development; creates Administration Advisory Boards to oversee these funds and also Ex-Im Bank financing targeted to sub-Sahara Africa.

Jackson-Lee #10 Provides flexibility for the President in considering additional eligibility factors; and recognizes the prevention and reduction of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa as an eligibility factor.

Jackson-Lee #11 Directs the President to designate an AIDS Policy Director for sub-Saharan African within the Office of National AIDS Policy; requires that the designated position focus on HIV/AIDS issues relating to sub-Saharan Africa and has the adequate resources (funding and staff) to execute the duties of the position.

Jackson-Lee #12 Encourages and recognizes the need for U.S. and African small business opportunities and investment in sub-Saharan Africa.

Jackson-Lee #13 Establishes a Congressional Advisory Group consisting of the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House International Relations and Ways and Means Committees and the Senate Foreign Relations and Finance Committees and 6 other Members of Congress to facilitate the implementation of the Act.

Jackson-Lee #14 Expresses the sense of the Congress that U.S. business should be encouraged to assist sub-Saharan Africa with the HIV/AIDS problem and consider the establishment of a HIV/AIDS Response Fund to coordinate assistance efforts.

Kaptur #8 Provides for educational and microcredit assistance for women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Kucinich #5 Provides for stronger protections against transshipments and circumvention of import quotas and tariffs; defines obligations of exporting countries, standards of proof for importers and retailers, and penalties for importers and retailers and countries.

Miller (CA) #28 LATE. Provides a 50% tariff reduction for textile and apparel products manufactured in Africa at facilities that are partly or wholly owned by corporations based in the U.S., the E.U. or Japan - provided that the facility complies with the same environmental standards that would apply in the corporation's home country. Firms that are entirely African-owned are granted a 50% tariff reduction for their textile and apparel products without an obligation to meet this standard. Requires oil and mineral corporations that are partly or wholly owned by corporations based in the U.S., the E.U. or Japan to comply with the same environmental standards that would apply in the corporation's home country in order to be eligible for an extension of benefits for their products under the Generalized System of Preferences.

Olver/Foley/Pelosi #9 Expresses the sense of Congress that addressing the HIV/AIDS crisis should be a central component of America's foreign policy with respect to sub-Saharan Africa; expresses the sense of Congress that significant progress needs to be made in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS before we can expect to sustain a mutually beneficial trade relationship with sub-Saharan African countries; expresses the sense of Congress that the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa is a global threat that merits further attention in detailed legislation.

Rohrabacher #6 Requires that for Ethiopia to benefit from provisions of the bill, it must adequately compensate U.S. citizens and other U.S. entities for property that the government of Ethiopia has expropriated from them.

Rohrabacher #7 Requires a country to have a democratic government in order to benefit from the provisions of the bill.

Shows #1 Assists communities that may be devastated by the Africa trade bill by attracting companies to these areas and fostering job creation; permits the Secretary of Commerce to designate up to 35 areas as "African Trade Impacted Communities" similar to enterprise zones.

Traficant #2 Requires that any quota-free treatment extended to the nations of sub-Saharan Africa by the United States must, in turn, be extended to the United States by the nations of sub-Saharan Africa.

Traficant #3 Raises the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) product content from 35% to 50% for goods qualifying as "African" made; requires that all workers employed in the production of said goods be citizens of an African nation.

Traficant #4 Requires reauthorization annually of certain trade provisions to allow the Administration time to determine how well the new trade policy is working and to allow the Congress to fine tune the program, if necessary.

Waters #18 LATE. Clarifies that the eligibility requirements described in Section 4 of this Act apply only to new programs, projects, activities, assistance and benefits and does not apply to those programs, projects, activities, assistance and benefits already in place prior to the passage of the Act.

Waters #19 LATE. Strikes three eligibility factors regarding reducing import and corporate taxes, controlling government consumption, removing restrictions on foreign investment and encouraging the privatization of government enterprises that are included in Section 4, which can be detrimental to sustainable development.

Waters #20 LATE. Clarifies that a country seeking eligibility under this Act does not need to meet every one of the enumerated requirements in Section 4(a) to be found eligible.

Waters #21 LATE. Requires the President to take into consideration whether or not a country is cooperating in efforts to eliminate slavery when determining a country's eligibility.

Waters #22 LATE. Adds a new section to provide additional authority and increased flexibility to provide assistance under the Development Fund for Africa.

Waters #23 LATE. Adds a new section to provide additional authority and increased flexibility to provide assistance under the Development Fund for Africa and establishes a floor for funding for the Development Fund for Africa.

* Summaries derived from information submitted by the amendment sponsors.