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106th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1585

               To establish a Congressional Trade Office.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           September 15, 1999

  Mr. Baucus introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
                  referred to the Committee on Finance

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
               To establish a Congressional Trade Office.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Congress has responsibility under the Constitution for 
        international commerce.
            (2) Congressional oversight of trade policy has often been 
        hampered by a lack of resources.
            (3) The United States has entered into numerous trade 
        agreements with foreign trading partners, including bilateral, 
        regional, and multilateral agreements.
            (4) The purposes of the trade agreements are--
                    (A) to achieve a more open world trading system 
                which provides mutually advantageous market 
                opportunities for trade between the United States and 
                foreign countries;
                    (B) to facilitate the opening of foreign country 
                markets to exports of the United States and other 
                countries by eliminating trade barriers and increasing 
                the access of United States industry and the industry 
                of other countries to such markets; and
                    (C) to reduce diversion of third country exports to 
                the United States because of restricted market access 
                in foreign countries.
            (5) Foreign country performance under certain agreements 
        has been less than contemplated, and in some cases rises to the 
        level of noncompliance.
            (6) The credibility of, and support for, the United States 
        Government's trade policy is, to a significant extent, a 
        function of the belief that trade agreements made are trade 
        agreements enforced.

SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF OFFICE.

    (a) In General.--There is established an office in Congress to be 
known as the Congressional Trade Office (in this Act referred to as the 
``Office'').
    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of the Office are as follows:
            (1) To reassert the constitutional responsibility of 
        Congress with respect to international trade.
            (2) To provide Congress, through the Committee on Finance 
        of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House 
        of Representatives with additional independent, nonpartisan, 
        neutral trade expertise.
            (3) To assist Congress in providing more effective and 
        active oversight of trade policy.
            (4) To assist Congress in providing to the executive branch 
        more effective direction on trade policy.
            (5) To provide Congress with long-term, institutional 
        memory on trade issues.
            (6) To provide Congress with more analytical capability on 
        trade issues.
            (7) To advise relevant committees on the impact of trade 
        negotiations, including past, ongoing, and future negotiations, 
        with respect to the areas of jurisdiction of the respective 
        committees.
    (c) Director and Staff.--
            (1) Director.--
                    (A) In general.--The Office shall be headed by a 
                Director. The Director shall be appointed by the 
                Speaker of the House of Representatives and the 
                President pro tempore of the Senate after considering 
                the recommendations of the Chairman and Ranking Member 
                of the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the 
                Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways 
                and Means of the House of Representative. The Director 
                shall be chosen without regard to political affiliation 
                and solely on the basis of the Director's expertise and 
                fitness to perform the duties of the Director.
                    (B) Term.--The term of office of the Director shall 
                be 5 years and the Director may be reappointed for 
                subsequent terms.
                    (C) Vacancy.--Any individual appointed to fill a 
                vacancy prior to the expiration of a term shall serve 
                only for the unexpired portion of that term.
                    (D) Removal.--The Director may be removed by either 
                House by resolution.
                    (E) Compensation.--The Director shall receive 
                compensation at a per annum gross rate  equal to the 
rate of basic pay, as in effect from time to time, for level III of the 
Executive Schedule in section 5314 of title 5, United States Code.
            (2) Staff.--
                    (A) In general.--The Director shall appoint and fix 
                the compensation of such personnel as may be necessary 
                to carry out the duties and functions of the Office. 
                All personnel shall be appointed without regard to 
                political affiliation and solely on the basis of their 
                fitness to perform their duties. The personnel of the 
                Office shall consist of individuals with expertise in 
                international trade, including expertise in economics, 
                trade law, various industrial sectors, and various 
                geographical regions.
                    (B) Benefits.--For purposes of pay (other than the 
                pay of the Director) and employment, benefits, rights 
                and privilege, all personnel of the Office shall be 
                treated as if they were employees of the House of 
                Representatives.
            (3) Experts and consultants.--In carrying out the duties 
        and functions of the Office, the Director may procure the 
        temporary (not to exceed 1 year) or intermittent services of 
        experts or consultants or organizations thereof by contract as 
        independent contractors, or, in the case of individual experts 
        or consultants, by employment at rates of pay not in excess of 
        the daily equivalent of the highest rate of basic pay payable 
        under the General Schedule of section 5332 of title 5.
            (4) Relationship to executive branch.--The Director is 
        authorized to secure information, data, estimates, and 
        statistics directly from the various departments, agencies, and 
        establishments of the executive branch of Government and the 
        regulatory agencies and commissions of the Government. All such 
        departments, agencies, establishments, and regulatory agencies 
        and commissions shall furnish the Director any available 
        material which he determines to be necessary in the performance 
        of his duties and functions (other than material the disclosure 
        of which would be a violation of law). The Director is also 
        authorized, upon agreement with the head of any such 
        department, agency, establishment, or regulatory agency or 
        commission, to utilize its services and facilities with or 
        without reimbursement; and the head of each such department, 
        agency, establishment, or regulatory agency or commission is 
        authorized to provide the Office such services and facilities.
            (5) Relationship to other agencies of congress.--In 
        carrying out the duties and functions of the Office, and for 
        the purpose of coordinating the operations of the Office with 
        those of other congressional agencies with a view to utilizing 
        most effectively the information, services, and capabilities of 
        all such agencies in carrying out the various responsibilities 
        assigned to each, the Director is authorized to obtain 
        information, data, estimates, and statistics developed by the 
        General Accounting Office, the Library of Congress, and other 
        offices of Congress, and (upon agreement with them) to utilize 
        their services and facilities with or without reimbursement. 
        The Comptroller General, the Librarian of Congress, and the 
        head of other offices of Congress are authorized to provide the 
        Office with the information, data estimates, and statistics, 
        and the services and facilities referred to in the preceding 
        sentence.
    (d) Functions.--The functions of the Office are as follows:
            (1) Assistance to congress.--Provide the Committee on 
        Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of 
        the House of Representative and any other appropriate committee 
        of Congress or joint committee of Congress information which 
        will assist the committees in the discharge of the matters 
        within their jurisdiction.
            (2) Monitor compliance.--Monitor compliance with major 
        bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade agreements by--
                    (A) consulting with the affected industries and 
                interested parties;
                    (B) analyzing the success of agreements based on 
                commercial results;
                    (C) recommending actions, including legislative 
                action, necessary to ensure that foreign countries that 
                have made commitments through agreements with the 
                United States fully abide by those commitments;
                    (D) annually assessing the extent to which current 
                agreements comply with environmental goals; and
                    (E) annually assessing the extent to which current 
                agreements comply with labor goals.
            (3) Analysis.--Perform the following analyses:
                    (A) Not later than 60 days after the date the 
                National Trade Estimates report is delivered to 
                Congress each year, analyze the major outstanding trade 
                barriers based on cost to the United States economy.
                    (B) Not later than 60 days after the date the Trade 
                Policy Agenda is delivered to Congress each year, 
                analyze the Administration's Agenda, including 
                alternative goals, strategies, and tactics, as 
                appropriate.
                    (C) Analyze proposed trade legislation.
                    (D) Analyze proposed trade agreements, including 
                agreements that do not require implementing 
                legislation.
                    (E) Analyze the impact of the Administration's 
                trade policy and actions, including assessing the 
                Administration's decisions for not accepting unfair 
                trade practices cases.
                    (F) Analyze the trade accounts quarterly, including 
                the global current account, global trade account, and 
                key bilateral trade accounts.
            (4) Dispute settlement deliberations.--Perform the 
        following functions with respect to dispute resolution:
                    (A) Participate as observers on the United States 
                delegation at dispute settlement panel meetings of the 
                World Trade Organization.
                    (B) Evaluate each World Trade Organization decision 
                where the United States is a participant. In any case 
                in which the United States does not prevail, evaluate 
                the decision and in any case in which the United States 
                does prevail, measure the commercial results of that 
                decision.
                    (C) Evaluate each dispute resolution proceeding 
                under the North American Free Trade Agreement. In any 
                case in which the United States does not prevail, 
                evaluate the decision and in any case in which the 
                United States does prevail, measure the commercial 
                results of that decision.
                    (D) Participate as observers in other dispute 
                settlement proceedings that the Chairman and Ranking 
                Member of the Committee on Finance and the Chairman and 
                Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways and Means deem 
                appropriate.
            (5) Other functions of director.--The Director and staff of 
        the Office shall perform the following additional functions:
                    (A) Provide the Committee on Finance and the 
                Committee on Ways and Means with quarterly reports 
                regarding the activities of the Office.
                    (B) Be available for consultation with 
                congressional committees on trade-related legislation.
                    (C) Receive and review classified information and 
                participate in classified briefings in the same manner 
                as the staff of the Committee on Finance and the 
                Committee on Ways and Means.
                    (D) Consult nongovernmental experts and utilize 
                nongovernmental resources.
                    (E) Perform such other functions as the Chairman 
                and Ranking Member of the Committee on Finance and the 
                Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways 
                and Means may request.

SEC. 3. PUBLIC ACCESS TO DATA.

    (a) Right To Copy.--Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), 
the Director shall make all information, data, estimates, and 
statistics obtained under this Act available for public copying during 
normal business hours, subject to reasonable rules and regulations, and 
shall to the extent practicable, at the request of any person, furnish 
a copy of any such information, data, estimates, or statistics upon 
payment by such person of the cost of making and furnishing such copy.
    (b) Exceptions.--Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to 
information, data, estimates, and statistics--
            (1) which are specifically exempted from disclosure by law; 
        or
            (2) which the Director determines will disclose--
                    (A) matters necessary to be kept secret in the 
                interests of national defense or the confidential 
                conduct of the foreign relations of the United States;
                    (B) information relating to trade secrets or 
                financial or commercial information pertaining 
                specifically to a given person if the information has 
                been obtained by the Government on a confidential 
                basis, other than through an application by such person 
                for a specific financial or other benefit, and is 
                required to be kept secret in order to prevent undue 
                injury to the competitive position of such person; or
                    (C) personnel or medical data or similar data the 
                disclosure of which would constitute a clearly 
                unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
unless the portions containing such matters, information, or data have 
been excised.
    (c) Information Obtained for Committees and Members.--Subsection 
(a) of this section shall apply to any information, data, estimates, 
and statistics obtained at the request of any committee, joint 
committee, or Member unless such committee, joint committee, or Member 
has instructed the Director not to make such information, data, 
estimates, or statistics available for public copying.

SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to the Office for each 
fiscal year such sums as may be necessary to enable it to carry out its 
duties and functions. Until sums are first appropriated pursuant to the 
preceding sentence, for a period not to exceed 12 months following the 
effective date of this subsection, the expenses of the Office shall be 
paid from the contingent fund of the Senate, in accordance with the 
provisions of the paragraph relating to contingent funds under the 
heading ``UNDER LEGISLATIVE'' in the Act of October 2, 1888 (25 Stat. 

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