CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 4284 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) on December 11, 2009.
H.R. 4284 extends the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) through December 31, 2010. Under current law, APTA expires on December 31, 2009. The bill also would require a report from the U.S. Trade Representative on the operation of the program, including compliance with eligibility criteria, by June 30, 2010 (as opposed to April 30, 2011, under current law).
The bill also extends the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) through December 31, 2010. Under current law, GSP would expire on December 31, 2009.
To offset the cost of these programs, H.R. 4284 would increase by 1.5 percentage points the quarterly estimated corporate tax payments that corporations with assets of at least $1 billion would be required to make in July, August, or September of 2014. Under current law, corporations are already required to make increased payments for that quarter, with the amount due the next quarter reduced by a corresponding amount. The bill thus essentially shifts revenue from Fiscal Year 2015 to Fiscal Year 2014, having no net impact over a ten year period.
The Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) was enacted in 1991 to help combat drug production and trafficking in the Andean countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. ATPA offers trade benefits to help those countries develop and strengthen industries as alternatives to drug production and trafficking. To qualify for ATPA benefits, countries must meet certain eligibility criteria related to counternarcotics cooperation. Last extended in October 2008, APTA is set to expire on December 31, 2009. An extension of benefits for Bolivia is not included in this bill because President Obama made a finding in July 2009 that that country was not in compliance with the eligibility criteria, thus losing its benefits.
The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provides duty-free access to the U.S. market for certain products from 132 developing countries. GSP was created by the Trade Act of 1974 and under the program beneficiary countries are eligible to export about 3,400 types of products duty-free to the United States. The GSP program also provides additional benefits to the 44 GSP countries that are designated "least developed" under the program. To qualify for trade benefits, participating countries must meet certain eligibility criteria. Under current law, GSP is set to expire on December 31, 2009.
The Congressional Budget Office has not yet produced a cost estimate for the bill.