Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S.Res. 334 (is) Expressing appreciation to the people of Okinawa for hosting United States defense facilities, commending the Government of Japan for choosing Okinawa as the site for hosting the summit meeting of the G-8 countries, and for other purposes....

S.Res. 334 (is) Expressing appreciation to the people of Okinawa for hosting United States defense facilities, commending the Government of Japan for choosing Okinawa as the site for hosting the summit meeting of the G-8 countries, and for other purposes....


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
S. RES. 333

 Expressing the sense of the Senate that there should be parity among 
    the countries that are parties to the North American Free Trade 
    Agreement with respect to the personal exemption allowance for 
  merchandise purchased abroad by returning residents, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             June 30, 2000

 Ms. Collins (for herself, Mr. Moynihan, Mr. Kyl, Mr. Gregg, Mr. Leahy, 
   and Ms. Hutchison) submitted the following resolution; which was 
                  referred to the Committee on Finance

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
 Expressing the sense of the Senate that there should be parity among 
    the countries that are parties to the North American Free Trade 
    Agreement with respect to the personal exemption allowance for 
  merchandise purchased abroad by returning residents, and for other 
                               purposes.

Whereas the personal exemption allowance is a vital component of trade and 
        tourism;
Whereas many border communities and retailers depend on customers from both 
        sides of the border;
Whereas a United States citizen traveling to Canada or Mexico for less than 24 
        hours is exempt from paying duties on the equivalent of $200 worth of 
        merchandise on return to the United States, and for trips over 48 hours 
        United States citizens have an exemption of up to $400 worth of 
        merchandise;
Whereas a Canadian traveling in the United States is allowed a duty-free 
        personal exemption allowance of only $50 worth of merchandise for a 24-
        hour visit, the equivalent of $200 worth of merchandise for a 48-hour 
        visit, and the equivalent of $750 worth of merchandise for a visit of 
        over 7 days;
Whereas Mexico has a 2-tiered personal exemption allowance for its returning 
        residents, set at the equivalent of $50 worth of merchandise for 
        residents returning by car and the equivalent of $300 worth of 
        merchandise for residents returning by plane;
Whereas Canadian and Mexican retail businesses have an unfair competitive 
        advantage over many American businesses because of the disparity between 
        the personal exemption allowances among the 3 countries;
Whereas the State of Maine legislature passed a resolution urging action on this 
        matter;
Whereas the disparity in personal exemption allowances creates a trade barrier 
        by making it difficult for Canadians and Mexicans to shop in American-
        owned stores without facing high additional costs;
Whereas the United States entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement 
        with Canada and Mexico with the intent of phasing out tariff barriers 
        among the 3 countries; and
Whereas it violates the spirit of the North American Free Trade Agreement for 
        Canada and Mexico to maintain restrictive personal exemption allowance 
        policies that are not reciprocal: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that--
            (1) the United States Trade Representative and the 
        Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary 
        of Commerce, should initiate discussions with officials of the 
        Governments of Canada and Mexico to achieve parity by 
        harmonizing the personal exemption allowance structure of the 3 
        NAFTA countries at or above United States exemption levels; and
            (2) in the event that parity with respect to the personal 
        exemption allowance of the 3 countries is not reached within 1 
        year after the date of the adoption of this resolution, the 
        United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of the 
        Treasury should submit recommendations to Congress on whether 
        legislative changes are necessary to lower the United States 
        personal exemption allowance to conform to the allowance levels 
        established in the other countries that are parties to the 
        North American Free Trade Agreement.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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