Commerce Establishes Advisory Council on Trade Enforcement and Compliance

King & Spalding

On January 4, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced the establishment of the Advisory Council on Trade Enforcement and Compliance (ACTEC). The ACTEC is a government-business forum that will seek “stakeholder input regarding current and emerging issues in trade enforcement and compliance matters.” The ACTEC will advise the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) on matters relating to relating to Commerce’s “statutory missions to enforce U.S. trade remedy laws and seek foreign government compliance with trade agreements.” Among the ACTEC’s roles is to recommend ways that Commerce’s “trade enforcement and compliance policies and programs can better support a strong trade and manufacturing agenda and enhance the commercial competitiveness of the United States.”

The ACTEC was created by Secretary Prizker, President Obama’s Commerce Secretary. When creating the ACTEC, Secretary Pritzker stated that “{e}nforcement has been a cornerstone of the Department’s and the Obama Administration’s trade agenda.” The current Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, Paul Piquado, stated that “{e}stablishing a regular stakeholder advisory mechanism will further enhance the Department’s ability to craft its enforcement initiatives and to resolve compliance problems in foreign markets in a commercially-meaningful timeframe.” Although created by President Obama’s administration, the ACTEC positions will be filled by appointments from President Trump’s administration.

The Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance is the Executive Director of the ACTEC. In that role, the Assistant Secretary appoints a Designated Federal Officer, which will serve as the Executive Secretary, and a Secondary Designated Federal Officer. Both officers will be selected from employees of the International Trade Administration’s Enforcement and Compliance unit.

ACTEC members will be selected from the business and manufacturing communities. The notice provides guidance that members should be selected in a manner that ensures balance “in terms of points of view, demographics, industry sector, geography of both production infrastructure and product inputs, and company size.” No more than twenty members shall be appointed, and those members should “represent U.S. entities involved in and significantly affected by imports and/or those that heavily export to, or operate in, countries with which the United States has trade agreements.” The stated goal is to have members from “large, medium, and small enterprises, private sector organizations, and other entities, such as, non-governmental organizations, associations, and economic development organizations” that will represent “the views and interests of their sponsoring entities and those of their particular industrial and regional sector.”

Members will serve for two year terms at the pleasure of the Secretary and may be reappointed. Commerce will solicit nominations for membership on the ACTEC.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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