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Trade Act of 1974: Fast-Track Procedures
This law is codified in Chapter 12 of Title 19 of the U.S. Code as part of the Trade Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-618), based on the place of the original version of this statute in that enactment, but most of the 1974 law has been substantially rewritten in the omnibus trade bills enacted in 1979, 1984, 1988, 2000, and 2002, as well as several other laws enacted through 2011.  

 

Note that this is the second half of a grant of fast-track authority, namely the procedures that are to be followed in Congress when the president seeks approval of the implementing legislation for an agreement. The procedures shown here are as provided in the 1974 act and subsequently amended through 2002.

 

See the reading entitled The Legislative Process and the Fast Track.

 

See also the actual grant of authority that allows the president to make such a request, as set out in the Trade Act of 1974 and the Trade Act of 2002 (both of which have long since expired). The procedures shown here may be used only when such a grant is active.

 

Yet a third component of any such grant are the negotiating objectives for which the grants is to be used, as laid out in the Trade Act of 1974 (as amended) and the Trade Act of 2002.

 

See also the variation on these procudures that is followed in the case of certain Community countries, as provided in the Jackson-Vanik amendment.

 

Other provisions originating in the Trade Act of 1974 include:


See also the CENTRAL guides to the Trade Laws of the United States.

 

 

 

 

 


Part 5—Congressional Procedures With Respect to Presidential Actions

§2191. Bills implementing trade agreements on nontariff barriers and resolutions approving commercial agreements with Communist countries

(a) Rules of House of Representatives and Senate

This section and sections 2192 and 2193 of this title are enacted by the Congress—

(1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the House of Representatives and the Senate, respectively, and as such they are deemed a part of the rules of each House, respectively, but applicable only with respect to the procedure to be followed in that House in the case of implementing bills described in subsection (b)(1) of this section, implementing revenue bills described in subsection (b) (2) of this section, approval resolutions described in subsection (b)(3) of this section, and resolutions described in sections 2192(a) and 2193(a) of this title; and they supersede other rules only to the extent that they are inconsistent therewith; and

(2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of either House to change the rules (so far as relating to the procedure of that House) at any time, in the same manner and to the same extent as in the case of any other rule of that House.

(b) Definitions

For purposes of this section—

(1) The term “implementing bill” means only a bill of either House of Congress which is introduced as provided in subsection (c) of this section with respect to one or more trade agreements, or with respect to an extension described in section 3572(c)(3) of this title, submitted to the House of Representatives and the Senate under section 2112 of this title, section 3572 of this title, or section 3805(a)(1) of this title and which contains—

(A) a provision approving such trade agreement or agreements or such extension,

(B) a provision approving the statement of administrative action (if any) proposed to implement such trade agreement or agreements, and

(C) if changes in existing laws or new statutory authority is required to implement such trade agreement or agreements or such extension, provisions, necessary or appropriate to implement such trade agreement or agreements or such extension, either repealing or amending existing laws or providing new statutory authority.

(2) The term “implementing revenue bill or resolution” means an implementing bill, or approval resolution, which contains one or more revenue measures by reason of which it must originate in the House of Representatives.

(3) The term “approval resolution” means only a joint resolution of the two Houses of the Congress, the matter after the resolving clause of which is as follows: “That the Congress approves the extension of nondiscriminatory treatment with respect to the products of ________ transmitted by the President to the Congress on ________.”, the first blank space being filled with the name of the country involved and the second blank space being filled with the appropriate date.

(c) Introduction and referral

(1) On the day on which a trade agreement or extension is submitted to the House of Representatives and the Senate under section 2112 of this title, section 3572 of this title, or section 3805(a)(1) of this title, the implementing bill submitted by the President with respect to such trade agreement or extension shall be introduced (by request) in the House by the majority leader of the House, for himself and the minority leader of the House, or by Members of the House designated by the majority leader and minority leader of the House; and shall be introduced (by request) in the Senate by the majority leader of the Senate, for himself and the minority leader of the Senate, or by Members of the Senate designated by the majority leader and minority leader of the Senate. If either House is not in session on the day on which such a trade agreement or extension is submitted, the implementing bill shall be introduced in that House, as provided in the preceding sentence, on the first day thereafter on which that House is in session. Such bills shall be referred by the Presiding Officers of the respective Houses to the appropriate committee, or, in the case of a bill containing provisions within the jurisdiction of two or more committees, jointly to such committees for consideration of those provisions within their respective jurisdictions.

(2) On the day on which a bilateral commercial agreement, entered into under subchapter IV of this chapter after January 3, 1975, is transmitted to the House of Representatives and the Senate, an approval resolution with respect to such agreement shall be introduced (by request) in the House by the majority leader of the House, for himself and the minority leader of the House, or by Members of the House designated by the majority leader and minority leader of the House; and shall be introduced (by request) in the Senate by the majority leader of the Senate, for himself and the minority leader of the Senate, or by Members of the Senate designated by the majority leader and minority leader of the Senate. If either House is not in session on the day on which such an agreement is transmitted, the approval resolution with respect to such agreement shall be introduced in that House, as provided in the preceding sentence, on the first day thereafter on which that House is in session. The approval resolution introduced in the House shall be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and the approval resolution introduced in the Senate shall be referred to the Committee on Finance.

(d) Amendments prohibited

No amendment to an implementing bill or approval resolution shall be in order in either the House of Representatives or the Senate; and no motion to suspend the application of this subsection shall be in order in either House, nor shall it be in order in either House for the Presiding Officer to entertain a request to suspend the application of this subsection by unanimous consent.

(e) Period for committee and floor consideration

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), if the committee or committees of either House to which an implementing bill or approval resolution has been referred have not reported it at the close of the 45th day after its introduction, such committee or committees shall be automatically discharged from further consideration of the bill or resolution and it shall be placed on the appropriate calendar. A vote on final passage of the bill or resolution shall be taken in each House on or before the close of the 15th day after the bill or resolution is reported by the committee or committees of that House to which it was referred, or after such committee or committees have been discharged from further consideration of the bill or resolution. If prior to the passage by one House of an implementing bill or approval resolution of that House, that House receives the same implementing bill or approval resolution from the other House, then—

(A) the procedure in that House shall be the same as if no implementing bill or approval resolution had been received from the other House, but

(B) the vote on final passage shall be on the implementing bill or approval resolution of the other House.

(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) shall not apply in the Senate to an implementing revenue bill or resolution. An implementing revenue bill or resolution received from the House shall be referred to the appropriate committee or committees of the Senate. If such committee or committees have not reported such bill or resolution at the close of the 15th day after its receipt by the Senate (or, if later, before the close of the 45th day after the corresponding implementing revenue bill or resolution was introduced in the Senate), such committee or committees shall be automatically discharged from further consideration of such bill or resolution and it shall be placed on the calendar. A vote on final passage of such bill or resolution shall be taken in the Senate on or before the close of the 15th day after such bill or resolution is reported by the committee or committees of the Senate to which it was referred, or after such committee or committees have been discharged from further consideration of such bill or resolution.

(3) For purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2), in computing a number of days in either House, there shall be excluded any day on which that House is not in session.

(f) Floor consideration in the House

(1) A motion in the House of Representatives to proceed to the consideration of an implementing bill or approval resolution shall be highly privileged and not debatable. An amendment to the motion shall not be in order, nor shall it be in order to move to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to.

(2) Debate in the House of Representatives on an implementing bill or approval resolution shall be limited to not more than 20 hours, which shall be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the bill or resolution. A motion further to limit debate shall not be debatable. It shall not be in order to move to recommit an implementing bill or approval resolution or to move to reconsider the vote by which an implementing bill or approval resolution is agreed to or disagreed to.

(3) Motions to postpone, made in the House of Representatives with respect to the consideration of an implementing bill or approval resolution, and motions to proceed to the consideration of other business, shall be decided without debate.

(4) All appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the Rules of the House of Representatives to the procedure relating to an implementing bill or approval resolution shall be decided without debate.

(5) Except to the extent specifically provided in the preceding provisions of this subsection, consideration of an implementing bill or approval resolution shall be governed by the Rules of the House of Representatives applicable to other bills and resolutions in similar circumstances.

(g) Floor consideration in the Senate

(1) A motion in the Senate to proceed to the consideration of an implementing bill or approval resolution shall be privileged and not debatable. An amendment to the motion shall not be in order, nor shall it be in order to move to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to.

(2) Debate in the Senate on an implementing bill or approval resolution, and all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited to not more than 20 hours. The time shall be equally divided between, and controlled by, the majority leader and the minority leader or their designees.

(3) Debate in the Senate on any debatable motion or appeal in connection with an implementing bill or approval resolution shall be limited to not more than 1 hour, to be equally divided between, and controlled by, the mover and the manager of the bill or resolution, except that in the event the manager of the bill or resolution is in favor of any such motion or appeal, the time in opposition thereto, shall be controlled by the minority leader or his designee. Such leaders, or either of them, may, from time under their control on the passage of an implementing bill or approval resolution, allot additional time to any Senator during the consideration of any debatable motion or appeal.

(4) A motion in the Senate to further limit debate is not debatable. A motion to recommit an implementing bill or approval resolution is not in order.

§2192. Resolutions disapproving certain actions

(a) Contents of resolutions

(1) For purposes of this section, the term “resolution” means only—

(A) a joint resolution of the two Houses of the Congress, the matter after the resolving clause of which is as follows: “That the Congress does not approve the action taken by, or the determination of, the President under section 203 of the Trade Act of 1974 transmitted to the Congress on ______.”, the blank space being filled with the appropriate date; and

(B) a joint resolution of the two Houses of Congress, the matter after the resolving clause of which is as follows: “That the Congress does not approve ______ transmitted to the Congress on ______.”, with the first blank space being filled in accordance with paragraph (2), and the second blank space being filled with the appropriate date.

(2) The first blank space referred to in paragraph (1)(B) shall be filled, in the case of a resolution referred to in section 2437(c)(2) of this title, with the phrase “the report of the President submitted under section ______ of the Trade Act of 1974 with respect to ______” (with the first blank space being filled with “402(b)” or “409(b)”, as appropriate, and the second blank space being filled with the name of the country involved).

(b) Reference to committees

All resolutions introduced in the House of Representatives shall be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and all resolutions introduced in the Senate shall be referred to the Committee on Finance.

(c) Discharge of committees

(1) If the committee of either House to which a resolution has been referred has not reported it at the end of 30 days after its introduction, not counting any day which is excluded under section 2194(b) of this title, it is in order to move either to discharge the committee from further consideration of the resolution or to discharge the committee from further consideration of any other resolution introduced with respect to the same matter, except that a motion to discharge—

(A) may only be made on the second legislative day after the calendar day on which the Member making the motion announces to the House his intention to do so; and

(B) is not in order after the Committee has reported a resolution with respect to the same matter.

(2) A motion to discharge under paragraph (1) may be made only by an individual favoring the resolution, and is highly privileged in the House and privileged in the Senate; and debate thereon shall be limited to not more than 1 hour, the time to be divided in the House equally between those favoring and those opposing the resolution, and to be divided in the Senate equally between, and controlled by, the majority leader and the minority leader or their designees. An amendment to the motion is not in order, and it is not in order to move to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to.

(d) Floor consideration in the House

(1) A motion in the House of Representatives to proceed to the consideration of a resolution shall be highly privileged and not debatable. An amendment to the motion shall not be in order, nor shall it be in order to move to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to.

(2) Debate in the House of Representatives on a resolution shall be limited to not more than 20 hours, which shall be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the resolution. A motion further to limit debate shall not be debatable. No amendment to, or motion to recommit, the resolution shall be in order. It shall not be in order to move to reconsider the vote by which a resolution is agreed to or disagreed to.

(3) Motions to postpone, made in the House of Representatives with respect to the consideration of a resolution, and motions to proceed to the consideration of other business, shall be decided without debate.

(4) All appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the Rules of the House of Representatives to the procedure relating to a resolution shall be decided without debate.

(5) Except to the extent specifically provided in the preceding provisions of this subsection, consideration of a resolution in the House of Representatives shall be governed by the Rules of the House of Representatives applicable to other resolutions in similar circumstances.

(e) Floor consideration in the Senate

(1) A motion in the Senate to proceed to the consideration of a resolution shall be privileged. An amendment to the motion shall not be in order, nor shall it be in order to move to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to.

(2) Debate in the Senate on a resolution, and all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited to not more than 20 hours, to be equally divided between, and controlled by, the majority leader and the minority leader or their designees.

(3) Debate in the Senate on any debatable motion or appeal in connection with a resolution shall be limited to not more than 1 hour, to be equally divided between, and controlled by, the mover and the manager of the resolution, except that in the event the manager of the resolution is in favor of any such motion or appeal, the time in opposition thereto, shall be controlled by the minority leader or his designee. Such leaders, or either of them, may, from time under their control on the passage of a resolution, allot additional time to any Senator during the consideration of any debatable motion or appeal.

(4) A motion in the Senate to further limit debate on a resolution, debatable motion, or appeal is not debatable. No amendment to, or motion to recommit, a resolution is in order in the Senate.

(f) Procedures in the Senate

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the following procedures shall apply in the Senate to a resolution to which this section applies:

(A)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), a resolution that has passed the House of Representatives shall, when received in the Senate, be referred to the Committee on Finance for consideration in accordance with this section.

(ii) If a resolution to which this section applies was introduced in the Senate before receipt of a resolution that has passed the House of Representatives, the resolution from the House of Representatives shall, when received in the Senate, be placed on the calendar. If this clause applies, the procedures in the Senate with respect to a resolution introduced in the Senate that contains the identical matter as the resolution that passed the House of Representatives shall be the same as if no resolution had been received from the House of Representatives, except that the vote on passage in the Senate shall be on the resolution that passed the House of Representatives.

(B) If the Senate passes a resolution before receiving from the House of Representatives a joint resolution that contains the identical matter, the joint resolution shall be held at the desk pending receipt of the joint resolution from the House of Representatives. Upon receipt of the joint resolution from the House of Representatives, such joint resolution shall be deemed to be read twice, considered, read the third time, and passed.

(2) If the texts of joint resolutions described in this section or section 2193(a) of this title, whichever is applicable, concerning any matter are not identical—

(A) the Senate shall vote passage on the resolution introduced in the Senate, and

(B) the text of the joint resolution passed by the Senate shall, immediately upon its passage (or, if later, upon receipt of the joint resolution passed by the House), be substituted for the text of the joint resolution passed by the House of Representatives, and such resolution, as amended, shall be returned with a request for a conference between the two Houses.

(3) Consideration in the Senate of any veto message with respect to a joint resolution described in subsection (a)(2)(B) of this section or section 2193(a) of this title, including consideration of all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited to 10 hours, to be equally divided between, and controlled by, the majority leader and the minority leader or their designees.

[...]

§2194. Special rules relating to Congressional procedures

(a) Delivery of documents to both Houses

Whenever, pursuant to section 2112(e), 2253(b), 2432(d), or 2437(a) or (b), a document is required to be transmitted to the Congress, copies of such document shall be delivered to both Houses of Congress on the same day and shall be delivered to the Clerk of the House of Representatives if the House is not in session and to the Secretary of the Senate if the Senate is not in session.

(b) Computation of 90-day period

For purposes of sections 2253(c) and 2437(c)(2) of this title, the 90-day period referred to in such sections shall be computed by excluding—

(1) the days on which either House is not in session because of an adjournment of more than 3 days to a day certain or an adjournment of the Congress sine die, and

(2) any Saturday and Sunday, not excluded under paragraph (1), when either House is not in session.