Washington, DC – Today, Ways & Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced the Customs Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2012 (H.R. 6642).
Chairman Brady stated, “In the 21st Century, time is a trade barrier that can leave American companies less competitive in the global marketplace. My goal is to lower the cost and delays at the border while improving security and enforcement. I am pleased to introduce legislation today that will improve three vital aspects of the Customs mission: modernization, streamlining/facilitation, and enforcement. I am introducing this bill now so we can give stakeholders the opportunity to comment on the legislation. I am committed to moving a bipartisan bill at the earliest opportunity.
“Trade is vital to our economic engine, creating jobs and lifting wages here at home,” he continued. “Today, companies that engage in international trade employ more than 50 million U.S. workers, and U.S. trade has quadrupled in the last 20 years and now represents over 30 percent of U.S. GDP. If the United States is to remain competitive, we must do more than lower tariff barriers and open market access abroad. We also must have a more modernized and automated Customs structure to allow that trade to occur as efficiently as possible and in compliance with our laws. This bill would modernize these important tools, particularly the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and the International Trade Data System. It would require CBP to provide a report on its objectives, plans, and deadlines to justify any change in ACE funding levels.
“The sophisticated nature of trade demands better streamlining of Customs processes, particularly for low-risk importers, so the legislation would create new initiatives to allow companies that partner with CBP to improve trade compliance and cooperate above the norm to receive incentives for that cooperation. Moreover, the bill would establish several mechanisms to improve the collection of revenue and enforcement of our laws without jeopardizing legitimate trade. For example, I have included bipartisan legislation introduced by fellow Ways & Means Committee member Dr. Charles Boustany (R-LA) to address evasion and underpayment of antidumping and countervailing duties.
“Finally, the bill authorizes funding for the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the International Trade Commission and establishes heightened transparency through reporting requirements for USTR-led interagency programs, including the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center, as well as for USTR’s budgetary and staffing needs,” he concluded.
Ways and Means Chairman Camp added, “I welcome the Customs authorization bill introduced by Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady today. This bill is the right approach to facilitate and streamline legitimate trade and ensure that U.S. laws are strictly enforced. A key component of ensuring that our international competitors play by the rules is the bipartisan legislation sponsored by Rep. Charles Boustany to address evasion and underpayment of antidumping and countervailing duties. I look forward to hearing comments from interested stakeholders in anticipation of moving forward next year, and I would like to move forward with bipartisan legislation if at all possible.”
Congressman Charles Boustany Jr., M.D stated, “I appreciate Chairman Brady’s leadership in moving forward on a Customs Reauthorization bill in 112th Congress. The inclusion of the PROTECT Act is a vital enforcement mechanism that will benefit companies in Louisiana and around the United States. I look forward to working with the Committee to move this crucial legislation through the House in a timely fashion.”
Congressman Aaron Schock stated, “Small businesses and customers alike are searching for ways to reduce costs and save money. One way to accomplish both is by modernizing and streamlining the rates of customs duties which has not been done in almost two decades in some cases. Updating these rates will put in place another mechanism to help lower the cost of production for Illinois small businesses, help create jobs and ultimately strengthen our economy. By having my legislation included in the Customs Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act it increases the chances that my legislation will be passed and we could see the cost savings provide a much needed jolt to the economy.”
The bill text can be found here.
A section-by-section of the bill is available here.
A two page summary of the bill can be read here.