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Key Federal Agencies & Organizations Every Footwear Company Should Know

The following agencies and committees have a direct policy impact on the production, movement and selling of footwear in the United States.  If you have questions or need assistance with any of these agencies, please contact FDRA at info@fdra.org

Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and overseeing negotiations with other countries. The head of USTR is the U.S. Trade Representative, a Cabinet member who serves as the president’s principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues.

USTR is part of the Executive Office of the President. Through an interagency structure, USTR coordinates trade policy, resolves disagreements, and frames issues for presidential decision. USTR also serves as vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), is on the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, is a non-voting member of the Export-Import Bank Board of Directors, and a member of the National Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Policies.

KEY POSITIONS:

U.S. Trade Representative – Ambassador Michael Froman

Acting USTR – Wendy Cutler

Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Trade Policy and Economics – Douglas M. Bell

Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific – Barbara Weisel

KEY POLICY INITIATIVES:

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Negotiations

Trans Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) Negotiations

Reviewing Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTBs)

 

U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)

The U.S. Department of Commerce promotes job creation, economic growth, sustainable development and improved standards of living for all Americans by working in partnership with businesses, universities, communities and our nation’s workers. The Secretary of Commerce leads the department’s efforts, overseeing a $7.5 billion budget and nearly 47,000 employees worldwide.

KEY POSITIONS:

Secretary of Commerce – Secretary Penny Pritzker

Under Secretary for International Trade – Stefan M. Selig

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods, and Materials — VACANT

KEY POLICY INITIATIVES & JURISDICTIONS:

Trans-Pacific Partnership

Trade Remedy Investigations

Export Controls

Short Supply Petitions under Free Trade Agreements

Reviewing Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTBs)

 

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The FTC is a bipartisan federal agency with a unique dual mission to protect consumers and promote competition. The agency develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences. It also collaborates with law enforcement partners across the country and around the world to advance crucial consumer protection and competition missions. Beyond U.S. borders, the FTC cooperates with international agencies and organizations to protect consumers in the global marketplace.

KEY POLICY JURISDICTIONS:

Leather Labeling

Fur Labeling

Made in USA Claims

 

International Trade Commission (ITC)

The United States International Trade Commission is an independent, quasi-judicial Federal agency with broad investigative responsibilities on matters of trade. The agency investigates the effects of dumped and subsidized imports on domestic industries and conducts global safeguard investigations. The Commission also adjudicates cases involving imports that allegedly infringe intellectual property rights. The Commission also serves as a Federal resource where trade data and other trade policy-related information are gathered and analyzed. The information and analysis are provided to the President, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and Congress to facilitate the development of sound and informed U.S. trade policy.

The mission of the Commission is to (1) administer U.S. trade remedy laws within its mandate in a fair and objective manner; (2) provide the President, USTR, and Congress with independent analysis, information, and support on matters of tariffs, international trade, and U.S. competitiveness; and (3) maintain the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS).

KEY POSITIONS:

Chairman Meredith Broadbent

KEY POLICY JURISDICTIONS:

Impact studies of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), including TPP

Approving Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTBs)

 

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

CBP is one of the world’s largest law enforcement organizations and is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. while facilitating lawful international travel and trade.

As the world’s first full-service border entity, CBP takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection into one coordinated and supportive activity.

The Office of International Trade (OT) consolidates the trade policy, program development, and compliance measurement functions of CBP into one office. The Office provides uniformity and clarity for the development of CBP’s national strategy to facilitate legitimate trade and manages the design and implementation of results-driven strategic initiatives of trade compliance and enforcement. It directs national enforcement responses through effective targeting of goods crossing the border as well as strict, swift punitive actions against companies participating in predatory trade practices.

KEY POSITIONS:

Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske

Assistant Commissioner for International Affairs Charles E. Stallworth

Assistant Commissioner for International Trade [Vacant]

KEY POLICY INITIATIVES & JURISDICTIONS:

CTPAT

Country-of-Origin Marking

Tariff Classifications

 

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

KEY POSITIONS:

Commissioner Elliot F. Kaye

KEY POLICY INITIATIVES:

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)

Product Recalls

 

House Committee on Ways & Means (Congress)

The Committee on Ways and Means is the oldest committee of the United States Congress, and is the chief tax-writing committee in the House of Representatives. The Committee derives a large share of its jurisdiction from Article I, Section VII of the U.S. Constitution which declares, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” The Ways and Means Committee also maintains jurisdiction over tariffs, trade remedy measures, and free trade agreements.

The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Trade shall include bills and matters referred to the Committee on Ways and Means that relate to customs and customs administration including tariff and import fee structure, classification, valuation of and special rules applying to imports, and special tariff provisions and procedures which relate to customs operation affecting exports and imports; import trade matters, including import impact, industry relief from injurious imports, adjustment assistance and programs to encourage competitive responses to imports, unfair import practices including antidumping and countervailing duty provisions, and import policy which relates to dependence on foreign sources of supply; commodity agreements and reciprocal trade agreements involving multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations and implementation of agreements involving tariff and non-tariff trade barriers to and distortions of international trade; international rules, organizations and institutional aspects of international trade agreements; budget authorizations for the customs revenue functions of the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Trade Representative; and special trade-related problems involving market access, competitive conditions of specific industries, export policy and promotion, access to materials in short supply, bilateral trade relations including trade with developing countries, operations of multinational corporations, and trade with non-market economies.

KEY POSITIONS:

Chairman Dave Camp

Ranking Member Sander Levin

Trade Subcommittee Chairman Devin Nunes

Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Charles Rangel

KEY POLICY INITIATIVES:

Affordable Footwear Act (AFA)

African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Reauthorization

Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB)

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

 

Senate Finance Committee (Congress)

The Committee concerns itself with matters relating to: taxation and other revenue measures generally, and those relating to the insular possessions; bonded debt of the United States; customs, collection districts, and ports of entry and delivery; reciprocal trade agreements; tariff and import quotas, and related matters thereto; the transportation of dutiable goods; deposit of public moneys; general revenue sharing; health programs under the Social Security Act, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and other health and human services programs financed by a specific tax or trust fund; and national social security.

The Committee has oversight over the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, parts of the Department of Commerce including the International Trade Administration, Customs and Border Protection (trade functions only), Department of Treasury, and the U.S. International Trade Commission.

KEY POSITIONS:

Chairman Ron Wyden

Ranking Member Orrin Hatch

Chairwoman, Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness: Debbie Stabenow

Ranking Member, Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness: Johnny Isakson

KEY POLICY INITIATIVES:

Affordable Footwear Act (AFA)

African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Reauthorization

Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB)

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)