Press Release

Key Trade Issues in USICA and COMPETES: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Congress recently held the first meeting of the conference committee tasked with reconciling the differences between the House-passed and Senate-passed “anti-China bills, the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act and the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), respectively. Among the bills’ provisions are several that would make significant reforms to U.S. trade policy. In a new insight, AAF’s Tori Smith and Tom Lee review the bills eight key trade provisions and identify which are good, and which, at the least, require closer scrutiny.

Key points:

  • This paper considers the key trade provisions in COMPETES and USICA and provides guidance on which are pro-growth and should be pursued regardless of the conference outcome (categorized as “good”), which either introduce new costs for U.S. businesses or unnecessarily increase government spending and should be carefully debated (categorized as “bad”), and which were introduced after limited debate, would advance untested programs that impose new trade barriers, and should be closely scrutinized or simply discarded (categorized as “ugly”). 
Section 301 Tariff Exclusions  GOOD  USICA 
Generalized System of Preferences  GOOD  BOTH 
Miscellaneous Tariff Bill  GOOD  BOTH 
Online Country of Origin Labeling  BAD  BOTH 
Trade Adjustment Assistance  BAD  COMPETES 
Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Changes  UGLY  COMPETES 
De Minimis Changes  UGLY  COMPETES 
Outbound Investment Review or “Reverse CFIUS”  UGLY  COMPETES 

Read the analysis