WASHINGTON, DC — Today, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following statement during debate of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (HR 644).
“I’m very happy to be here today to talk about the conference report on the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. This process marks the return to the regular order and ensures that Member and constituent voices are heard. As Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, I share the Speaker’s commitment to an open and transparent process.
“The conference report builds on the good work of my fellow conferees, Representatives Reichert and Tiberi, and dozens of other members. And it delivers on the promises we made to those Members when we considered trade legislation earlier this year.
“Most importantly, this bill is a vital part of our pro-growth agenda. It will level the playing field for Americans and also make it easier for them to compete in a global marketplace.
“It significantly improves trade facilitation. Here’s how:
“It ensures that Customs and Border Protection focuses on its trade-related mission and streamlines processing of legitimate trade, which will increase U.S. competitiveness and create U.S. jobs.
“It modernizes the agency’s automated systems and reduces paperwork burdens.
“Basically, this bill replaces inefficiency with innovation and eliminates outdated systems.
“In addition, I strongly believe that free trade is enforceable trade, and I’m glad that this bill significantly strengthens enforcement of U.S. trade laws.
“It creates new tools to combat currency manipulation based on ideas from Representative Miller and her colleagues in the Michigan delegation.
“It gives Customs and Border Protection new tools and holds it accountable to effectively act against evasion of antidumping and countervailing duties, including by targeting risky imports and establishing a new investigation process with strict deadlines and judicial review.
“Representatives Boustany and Jason Smith deserve credit for working together to make sure these provisions were included.
“The conference report strengthens Trade Promotion Authority by reaffirming that trade agreements should not include provisions on immigration or greenhouse gas emissions, for which Representatives King and Sessions deserve recognition.
“It ensures greater oversight of Administration trade nominees and at trade negotiating rounds.
“And this bill also includes important provisions to help fight human trafficking, which is a scourge that we must take seriously.
“And thanks to Representative Roskam’s leadership, the conference report combats politically motivated acts against our good friend and ally Israel.
“With respect to the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, it reaffirms Congress’ commitment to advancing a legislative process with robust consultation and consistent with House Rules. I fully intend to work with my colleagues to develop this process early next year.
“Finally, it contains the Internet Tax Freedom Act to permanently ban states and localities from taxing Internet access or Internet commerce.
“I urge all Members to support this important legislation.
“And while I celebrate this bill, this is only the beginning. As Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, I want to make sure my constituents in Texas and all Americans understand that we’re going to continue to move pro-growth bills that help grow our economy and make it easier for all Americans to find good jobs and have more opportunities.
“We’ve got an ambitious agenda, and we are just getting started. You can expect to see more action soon at our Committee and on this floor on trade, on jobs, and on all of the economic issues that matter to the American people.
“We are going to lead and we are going to deliver.”