Conference Report on H.R. 644, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015by Representative Debbie Dingell
Posted on 2015-12-11
DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise with nothing but the utmost respect
for my colleague from Michigan and agree with her on the need to
address currency manipulation.
Mr. Speaker, when the Committee on Ways and Means first began considering this bill, it represented a real opportunity to improve our system of trade and eliminate loopholes that allow foreign nations and bad actors to avoid our trade laws. Currency manipulation is the number one trade abuse that must be addressed.
Unfortunately, this bill has become the Christmas tree of the holiday season, and it is being used to put lipstick on the pig that is our current trade negotiations. It ties our negotiators' hands on even negotiating common emissions standards by restricting any consideration of climate issues, and it prevents them from negotiating immigration- related language as well. Further, it weakens existing trade laws designed to prevent human trafficking.
The ribbon on this Christmas surprise is a totally new provision on Internet taxation that isn't even in the jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means and could have unintended consequences that could bankrupt local governments.
There are good provisions at the core of this bill to help improve our Customs system, but they are outweighed by the political gamesmanship that has made this legislation impossible to support. We have seen far too many other examples of last-minute political provisions inserted in bills over the years, and we risk unintended consequences of these political provisions as well.