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The Senate recently passed a bill aiming at those who steal trade secrets from other businesses. The measure will also allow people and businesses whose trade secrets are stolen to sue for damages in federal court, just as those who have other kinds of intellectual property misappropriated, such as patents and trademarks. The legislation will also permit a court to order the seizure of property if it will protect trade secrets. Trade secret theft costs more than $300 billion a year for the U.S. economy.
"Supporters of the legislation say that in the digital world, trade secrets are far more vulnerable than when business plans or a secret formula were locked in the office safe. Businesses use electronic means to share secrets with far-flung business partners, but that can put enormous amounts of information at risk if it's downloaded from a computer or the cloud," stated an article by the U.S. News.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced its seizure of a shipment of nitrile disposable gloves from Malaysia suspected of being made with forced labor. This announcement confirms that a recent seizure authorization is broader than the original withholds release order and that CBP is in fact acting under that authorization.
Senate Finance Committee Chair, Ron Wyden, announced legislation to update and reauthorize three expired trade programs: Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) and the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (AMCA). The Trade Preferences and American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2021 will extend duty-free access to the U.S. market for certain developing countries under GSP until 2027, with important updates to eligibility rules that ensure trade policy rewards advances in human rights, women’s economic empowerment, labor, environment, rule of law and digital trade, among others.
U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Tom Carper, along with 38 other members of the Senate, sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine C. Tai, asking her to restart the exclusion process for imports from China subject to tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The Trump administration set up an exclusion process to help U.S. manufacturers and businesses receive relief from the tariffs when an imported good was not available outside of China, or when the tariffs caused severe economic harm to U.S. industry. Unfortunately, those exclusions expired at the end of 2020, and the Biden administration has not restarted a process for businesses to apply for new exclusions.