Washington, D.C., February 11, 2016 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) applauds Congressional passage of H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act. This bipartisan bill is the first true Customs modernization legislation in nearly two decades.
The bill puts into law changes to the organization and management of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, streamlines and facilitates trade, focuses on the Automated Commercial Environment/International Trade Data System (ACE/ITDS) program, and provides an enforcement mechanism for trade agreements.
“This is a very welcome development that has been a long time in coming,” stated USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “We applaud Congressional leadership, the conferees, and the members of Congress and staff who worked hard to craft a bipartisan, bicameral compromise bill that meets business needs, updates outdated procedures, and reduces business costs and paperwork burdens.”
According to Robinson, the new law will promote U.S. competitiveness and job creation by reducing barriers to legitimate trade, while stepping up enforcement of U.S. trade agreements. “This will make it much easier for our companies, both large and small, to export and succeed in the global marketplace, which translates into economic growth and good jobs here at home,” he said.
USCIB’s recent legislative and advocacy efforts have focused on important issues impacting the bottom line of member companies and organizations, including:
- addressing an oversight on the tariff treatment of cold-weather outerwear that not only would have increased costs, but also that would have opened the U.S. to WTO compliance concerns (current effective date of March 31, 2016);
- increasing de minimis from $200 to $800 (U.S.), which will particularly benefit small and medium size enterprises by reducing costs, paperwork burdens and facilitating the movement of cargo; and
- updating the outdated returns processes that subject companies to unnecessary double taxation on returned property and goods as well as for U.S. government property returned to the United States.
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043, email@example.com