United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 29, 2024

§ 2420.
Trade enforcement priorities
(a)
Trade enforcement priorities, consultations, and report
(1)
Trade enforcement priorities consultations

Not later than May 31 of each calendar year that begins after February 24, 2016, the United States Trade Representative (in this section referred to as the “Trade Representative”) shall consult with the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives with respect to the prioritization of acts, policies, or practices of foreign governments that raise concerns with respect to obligations under the WTO Agreements or any other trade agreement to which the United States is a party, or otherwise create or maintain barriers to United States goods, services, or investment.

(2)
Identification of trade enforcement priorities
In identifying acts, policies, or practices of foreign governments as trade enforcement priorities under this subsection, the Trade Representative shall focus on those acts, policies, and practices the elimination of which is likely to have the most significant potential to increase United States economic growth, and take into account all relevant factors, including—
(A)
the economic significance of any potential inconsistency between an obligation assumed by a foreign government pursuant to a trade agreement to which both the foreign government and the United States are parties and the acts, policies, or practices of that government;
(B)
the impact of the acts, policies, or practices of a foreign government on maintaining and creating United States jobs and productive capacity;
(C)
the major barriers and trade distorting practices described in the most recent National Trade Estimate required under section 2241(b) of this title;
(D)
the major barriers and trade distorting practices described in other relevant reports addressing international trade and investment barriers prepared by a Federal agency or congressional commission during the 12 months preceding the date of the most recent report under paragraph (3);
(E)
a foreign government’s compliance with its obligations under any trade agreements to which both the foreign government and the United States are parties;
(F)
the implications of a foreign government’s procurement plans and policies; and
(G)
the international competitive position and export potential of United States products and services.
(3)
Report on trade enforcement priorities and actions taken to address
(A)
In general

Not later than July 31 of each calendar year that begins after February 24, 2016, the Trade Representative shall report to the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives on acts, policies, or practices of foreign governments identified as trade enforcement priorities based on the consultations under paragraph (1) and the criteria set forth in paragraph (2).

(B)
Report in subsequent years

The Trade Representative shall include, when reporting under subparagraph (A) in any calendar year after the calendar year that begins after February 24, 2016, a description of actions taken to address any acts, policies, or practices of foreign governments identified as trade enforcement priorities under this subsection in the calendar year preceding that report and, as relevant, any calendar year before that calendar year.

(b)
Semiannual enforcement consultations
(1)
In general

At the same time as the reporting under subsection (a)(3), and not later than January 31 of each following year, the Trade Representative shall consult with the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives with respect to the identification, prioritization, investigation, and resolution of acts, policies, or practices of foreign governments of concern with respect to obligations under the WTO Agreements or any other trade agreement to which the United States is a party, or that otherwise create or maintain trade barriers.

(2)
Acts, policies, or practices of concern
The semiannual enforcement consultations required by paragraph (1) shall address acts, policies, or practices of foreign governments that raise concerns with respect to obligations under the WTO Agreements or any other trade agreement to which the United States is a party, or otherwise create or maintain trade barriers, including—
(A)
engagement with relevant trading partners;
(B)
strategies for addressing such concerns;
(C)
availability and deployment of resources to be used in the investigation or resolution of such concerns;
(D)
the merits of any potential dispute resolution proceeding under the WTO Agreements or any other trade agreement to which the United States is a party relating to such concerns; and
(E)
any other aspects of such concerns.
(3)
Active investigations
The semiannual enforcement consultations required by paragraph (1) shall address acts, policies, or practices that the Trade Representative is actively investigating with respect to obligations under the WTO Agreements or any other trade agreement to which the United States is a party, including—
(A)
strategies for addressing concerns raised by such acts, policies, or practices;
(B)
any relevant timeline with respect to investigation of such acts, policies, or practices;
(C)
the merits of any potential dispute resolution proceeding under the WTO Agreements or any other trade agreement to which the United States is a party with respect to such acts, policies, or practices;
(D)
barriers to the advancement of the investigation of such acts, policies, or practices; and
(E)
any other matters relating to the investigation of such acts, policies, or practices.
(4)
Ongoing enforcement actions
The semiannual enforcement consultations required by paragraph (1) shall address all ongoing enforcement actions taken by or against the United States with respect to obligations under the WTO Agreements or any other trade agreement to which the United States is a party, including—
(A)
any relevant timeline with respect to such actions;
(B)
the merits of such actions;
(C)
any prospective implementation actions;
(D)
potential implications for any law or regulation of the United States;
(E)
potential implications for United States stakeholders, domestic competitors, and exporters; and
(F)
other issues relating to such actions.
(5)
Enforcement resources

The semiannual enforcement consultations required by paragraph (1) shall address the availability and deployment of enforcement resources, resource constraints on monitoring and enforcement activities, and strategies to address those constraints, including the use of available resources of other Federal agencies to enhance monitoring and enforcement capabilities.

(c)
Investigation and resolution
In the case of any acts, policies, or practices of a foreign government identified as a trade enforcement priority under subsection (a), the Trade Representative shall, not later than the date of the first semiannual enforcement consultations held under subsection (b) after the identification of the priority, take appropriate action to address that priority, including—
(1)
engagement with the foreign government to resolve concerns raised by such acts, policies, or practices;
(2)
initiation of an investigation under section 2412(b)(1) of this title with respect to such acts, policies, or practices;
(3)
initiation of negotiations for a bilateral agreement that provides for resolution of concerns raised by such acts, policies, or practices; or
(4)
initiation of dispute settlement proceedings under the WTO Agreements or any other trade agreement to which the United States is a party with respect to such acts, policies, or practices.
(d)
Enforcement notifications and consultation
Initiation of enforcement action

The Trade Representative shall notify and consult with the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives in advance of the initiation of any formal trade dispute by or against the United States taken in regard to an obligation under the WTO Agreements or any other trade agreement to which the United States is a party. With respect to a formal trade dispute against the United States, if advance notification and consultation are not possible, the Trade Representative shall notify and consult at the earliest practicable opportunity after initiation of the dispute.

(2)
Circulation of reports

The Trade Representative shall notify and consult with the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives in advance of the announced or anticipated circulation of any report of a dispute settlement panel or the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization or of a dispute settlement panel under any other trade agreement to which the United States is a party with respect to a formal trade dispute by or against the United States.

(e)
Definitions
In this section:
(1)
WTO

The term “WTO” means the World Trade Organization.

(2)
WTO agreement

The term “WTO Agreement” has the meaning given that term in section 3501(9) of this title.

(3)
WTO agreements

The term “WTO Agreements” means the WTO Agreement and agreements annexed to that Agreement.

(Pub. L. 93–618, title III, § 310, as added Pub. L. 100–418, title I, § 1302(a), Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1176; amended Pub. L. 103–465, title III, § 314(f), Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4941; Pub. L. 114–125, title VI, § 601(a), Feb. 24, 2016, 130 Stat. 180.)
cite as: 19 USC 2420