Conference Report on H.R. 644, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015by Representative Charles W. Boustany Jr.
Posted on 2015-12-11
BOUSTANY. I thank Chairman Brady, Chairman Tiberi, Chairman
Reichert, Congressman Jason Smith, and others on the committee, as well
as staff, for helping make this legislation--finally, this conference
report--a reality that will become law.
Mr. Speaker, today, Louisiana's seafood industry is being severely injured by illegal foreign imports. Right now, the fundamental issue is economic growth. How do we empower our seafood producers, our farmers, and our manufacturers to grow their businesses? to create opportunity? to grow this economy? The legislation before us today is important because, as we seek to expand market access for all of our businesses and our farmers, we need seamless trade facilitation and strong enforcement if we are going to achieve that economic growth.
This bill contains language from my PROTECT Act, providing new tools for the relevant Federal agencies, for legitimate importers and distributors, and for trade-affected domestic industries to prevent and combat fraud at our border, not after the fact. That is a key distinction and a key piece of this legislation. It will allow our seafood producers, our farmers, and our manufacturers to compete on a fair playing field here in our American domestic market as we seek open market access abroad for them as well.
Additionally, crawfish processors in my State of Louisiana have suffered for 15 years because of the unfair dumping of crawfish from China and other illegal sources. In effect, the administration punished domestic crawfish producers by forcing them to pay for the delays caused by Chinese dumpers, by the U.S. insurance companies that posted bond for the duties, and, in [[Page H9290]] some cases, by the Customs and Border Patrol, itself. This bill contains an important fix that will make sure that our crawfish producers are paid what they are owed.
Mr. Speaker, this legislation, this Customs reauthorization conference report, will make necessary improvements, not only to ensure fraud is prevented at our border, but so that our American industries are treated fairly. I urge its support.