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Steve C.
Republican OH 1

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  • Providing for Consideration of Conference Report on H.R. 644, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, and Providing for Consideration of Senate Amendments to H.R. 2250, Legislative…

    by Representative Steve Chabot

    Posted on 2015-12-11

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    CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. Mr. Cole has been a leader in this area for many years now, and I appreciate that leadership.

    I rise today, as chairman of the House Small Business Committee, in strong support of H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.

    The importance of robust international trade for America's small businesses cannot be overstated. Small businesses represent 98 percent of all goods-exporting firms in the United States--98 percent are small businesses--establishing our Nation's role as the world's leader in international trade. Seven out of every 10 new jobs in this country are created by small businesses. So if we want to improve the economy and trade, small businesses are an integral part of doing that. In my home State of Ohio alone, more than 1.5 million jobs are tied to international trade, many of them with these small firms.

    The bipartisan Customs reauthorization bill before us today will give small businesses the confidence and security they need to compete in a global marketplace. Specifically, it accomplishes this important goal by making sure international trade agreements are working to benefit America's small businesses and the employees of those small businesses. That is why I am pleased that the finished bill incorporates language that our committee helped to craft to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep the doors of trade open to small businesses. We have done this in that committee, in general, in a bipartisan fashion.

    By modernizing the procedures and systems used by Customs and Border Protection, this bill also improves trade facilitation and makes sure their safeguards are working as intended.

    By giving the Treasury new tools to crack down on currency manipulation, this bill ensures that foreign competitors like China aren't taking advantage of our workers and small businesses. That has been a top issue for those of us that have dealt with trade, and that is the concept, that the Chinese have been manipulating their currency to give them an unfair advantage over America's businesses, that this bill helps to deal with.

    By empowering the CPB and the Department of Commerce, this bill will make it easier to hold bad actors accountable when they engage in unfair trade or evasive trade practices. Mr. Speaker, this is truly commonsense legislation that will help America's small businesses at a time when they need our help to compete in the era of globalization.

    I also thank my friend and colleague from Texas (Mr. Brady), the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, for his leadership on this issue. He has worked on this since he introduced a Customs reauthorization bill back in 2011, and I know that is the basis for today's legislation. I again thank Chairman Cole for his hard work in this area because trade is important to jobs. Yes, it is important to large corporations, but it is especially important to those small businesses all across America who engage in international trade. In the Small Business Committee, we are encouraging them more and more to do that. That means more jobs for more families all over this country.

    I urge my colleagues to support this.

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