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Lou B.
Republican PA 11

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  • Conference Report on H.R. 644, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015

    by Representative Lou Barletta

    Posted on 2015-12-11

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    Read More about Conference Report on H.R. 644, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015

    BARLETTA. Mr. Speaker, today, we are making critical changes to our domestic trade laws to ensure that U.S. companies compete on a level playing field. Manufacturers in my district have suffered a competitive disadvantage from trade cheaters in China and other foreign countries that don't follow the trade rules we already have on the books.

    Unfortunately, there are companies in China who cheat. American companies cannot compete with products that are subsidized by foreign governments and therefore priced below market value. American companies waste valuable time and legal fees bringing cases against unfairly subsidized products that are dumped into the United States. When American companies win these dumping cases, they deserve to have the penalties enforced.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, American companies have not been competing on a level playing field. Those same trade cheaters that dumped their goods into our U.S. markets are adding insult to injury by evading the duty or penalty. When they ship the product from a country that doesn't have a penalty for dumping, they are skipping out on paying the penalty for cheating in the first place.

    We need a better referee to level the playing field. We need the penalties to be enforced. That's why I negotiated for the inclusion of the ENFORCE Act in the final Customs Bill and defended their importance throughout this Conference process.

    This bill will ensure that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) must investigate cases of duty evasion within 300 days. If for some reason CBP begins rubberstamping these decisions, the company can go to a U.S. court to have the case reviewed. These are critical reforms that are necessary to ensure that American companies are on a level playing field. I thank my colleagues and friends Mr. McHenry, Mr. Tiberi, Chairman Brady, Speaker Ryan, Dr. Boustany, Mr. Smith, and the Steel Caucus for working with me on this important reform.

    Every foreign company wants to sell their goods on American store shelves to American consumers. We must make sure we have the tools we need at the border to prevent foreign trade cheaters from sneaking their goods onto our shelves without paying the appropriate duties. We must protect American manufacturers and American jobs from trade cheaters.

    Additionally, I urge support for this bill because of critical protections against misguided attempts to use trade agreements to rewrite [[Page H9295]] our domestic immigration laws and environmental regulations. While this bill is not perfect, the permanent improvements to our trade laws and the bans on misuse of trade agreements make it worthy of our support.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.

    Pursuant to House Resolution 560, the previous question is ordered.

    Motion to Recommit

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