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Chairman Brady Statement on the Meeting of the Customs Conference Committee

December 07, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following statement during the meeting of the Conference Committee for the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (HR 644).

Following are Chairman Brady’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“This conference reaffirms our commitment to re-establishing regular order. I’m excited to be here.

“This legislation is long overdue. Back in 2011, I first introduced the customs reauthorization bill that was the basis for the House-passed bill.  In developing that bill and since then, we have worked together in a bipartisan and bicameral manner and intensified those efforts over the past 4-5 months. 

“As a result, both the House and the Senate have produced strong bills that bring our customs procedures and our enforcement tools into the 21st century.

“I have six goals in this conference.

“First, is improving trade facilitation by streamlining our procedures, and modernizing Custom and Border Protection’s automated systems.

“Second, is strengthening the enforcement of our trade laws. This includes giving CBP and the Commerce Department additional tools to fight unfair trade and address the growing problem of evasion of our trade remedy laws. 

“Third, is giving Treasury stronger tools to responsibly fight currency manipulation.

“Fourth, is supporting trade promotion authority by making it clear that Congress won’t consider any trade deals that change our immigration laws or obligate the United States with respect to greenhouse gas emissions.

“Fifth, is bolstering our support of our crucial ally Israel by mandating that the Administration fight politically motivated boycotts and divestment movements.

“Sixth, is underscoring my commitment to finding a way to create a legislative process to move the miscellaneous tariff bill consistent with House rules, after consulting with my colleagues and the public.

“Through this conference report we will fulfill the pledge that Ways and Means made to Members during the TPA debate regarding enforcement and TPA provisions of special concern to Members.

“I look forward to the strong bipartisan bill that will emerge from this conference to achieve these goals.

“As this process has demonstrated, Customs reauthorizations are never easy, and while this one has taken much longer than I would have liked, it can serve as a strong example of the serious and constructive work we can accomplish when we work together.

“With commitment from both Houses and both sides of the aisle, it’s my intent that we will be seeing each other more often at conferences like this.”