S. 1607: The Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2007 was introduced by Senators Baucus, Grassley, Schumer and Graham in June and was approved 20 to 1 by the Senate Finance Committee on July 31. In an effort to simplify the process of identifying trade manipulators, the bill removes intent as a necessary factor for determining whether a country is intervening in its currency market to gain a trade advantage against the United States. The bill also applies antidumping calculations to misaligned currencies.
S. 1677: The Senate Banking committee approved the Currency Reform and Financial Markets Access Act of 2007 on August 1, amid growing impatience in Congress over China currency reform. Like S. 1607, the bill would make it easier for the Treasury Department to identify and address currency misalignment by eliminating subjective criteria for determining whether a country is manipulating its currency. It would also provide a pathway to WTO article XV remedies if bilateral and multilateral negotiations failed to produce favorable results within nine months of a country being identified as a manipulator.
S. 1919: Trade Enforcement Act of 2007, introduced on August 1 by Senators Baucus and Hatch, would make it easier for Congress and the administration to address foreign trade abuses. The bill would require USTR to provide an annual report to Congress identifying major trade barriers to U.S. companies overseas and would allow Congress to identify its trade enforcement priorities for inclusion in the report. The proposal creates a WTO dispute settlement review commission and a Senate-confirmed chief enforcement officer, and would also change the criteria used by the International Trade Commission for a material injury determination in countervailing duty and antidumping cases. Specific to China trade practices, the bill would limit White House authority in China safeguard investigations by providing that the president may decline to provide relief only in extraordinary cases and only if the president determines that the relief would seriously harm U.S. national security or would have an adverse impact on the U.S. economy.
H.R. 2419: Despite a veto threat from President Bush, on July 27 the House passed the Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act of 2007. White House officials argue that the bill does not do enough to reduce agricultural subsidies, which they believe would remain high enough to distort trade and anger U.S. trading partners. As the Doha talks resume in September, focus will be on the impact of U.S. and EU agricultural subsidies on the developing world.