Legislation Moving Through Congress May Pose Challenges For Importers

The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), which recently passed the Senate via bipartisan vote, includes provisions that may impact businesses that import in the promotional products industry.

In June, the U.S. Senate lent its support to USICA, which would support U.S. technological innovation and research to make the country more competitive on the world stage. The bill is now with the House of Representatives. Included within it are provisions of the Country Of Origin Labeling Online Act or the “COOL Online Act,” a bill introduced last year that would require prominent labeling of country-of-origin and seller location for all products sold on the internet. Current law only requires country-of-origin information to be included on a product’s external packaging.

The COOL Online Act’s requirements are problematic for importers, including some companies in the promotional products industry, because of practices such as dual sourcing and diversifying supply chains. PPAI is working to learn more about the bill and has joined discussions with staffers from two separate House Energy & Commerce subcommittees, as well as a Ways & Means subcommittee.

The COOL Online Act will also be on the agenda for the upcoming PPAI Product Responsibility Summit Direct-2-You, to be held virtually on August 16-19. Click here for more information.

filed under July 2021
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Comments (1)
Steven Reid
July 15, 2021
Transparency in the supply chain is a good thing. The transparency will help end users and suppliers make informed decisions on the promotional products they purchase. The House Energy & Commerce subcommittees should be mindful that, the label itself will have cost implications as well as aesthetics concerns of where labeling can be placed on products, sizing of labels, products that are too small to reasonably affix a label, and timeline of implementing such requirements.
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