Press Release Summary:
NEMA commends U.S. Senate's final passage of compromise legislation reauthorizing trade functions of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). "While it does not go as far as it might have," said NEMA President and CEO Kevin J. Cosgriff,Â "the final act is nonetheless an important step forward on issues important to our companies and consumers." Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R. 644) passedÂ Senate on February 11 byÂ vote of 75–20.
Original Press Release:
NEMA Commends Final Passage of Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act
Customs authorization legislation will aid U.S. enforcement of trade laws, help catch counterfeit products, and facilitate legitimate trade
ROSSLYN, Va.— The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) commends final passage by the U.S. Senate of compromise legislation to reauthorize the trade functions of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). When signed into law, this legislation will facilitate timely processing of lawful trade by providing the agency with greater authority and more tools to prevent the importation of products that do not conform to U.S. requirements.
Specifically, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Actauthorizes CBP to work with U.S. regulatory agencies, including the Department of Energy, to implement the “single-window” approach to the electronic filing of trade documents. The bill also contains a key provision that specifically permits CBP to work with U.S. manufacturers to prevent the importation of products that violate intellectual property rights.
Despite these positive aspects, the House and Senate negotiators’ decision to exclude from the bill a reform and renewal of the import duty suspension process represents a missed opportunity to reduce costs for U.S. electroindustry manufacturers. This provision, if enacted, fairly recognizes that manufacturing components that are unavailable from domestic sources should not be penalized with a duty charge.
“The customs authorization legislation approved by Congress will help NEMA member companies lower their trade compliance costs and defend themselves and customers against counterfeit products,” said NEMA President and CEO Kevin J. Cosgriff. “While it does not go as far as it might have, the final act is nonetheless an important step forward on issues important to our companies and consumers.”
The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R. 644) passed the House on December 11 by a vote of 256-158 and the Senate on February 11 by a vote of 75–20.
Parts of the final legislation of particular interest to NEMA members include the following:
Authorization of CBP’s International Trade Data System (ITDS), also known as the “single window,” which, by the end of 2016, is to function as the primary method for traders to submit documentation required for CBP to release imported cargo and clear cargo for export
Clear authority given to CBP to share samples of items detained by the agency on intellectual property rights grounds with the U.S. owners of those trademarks or copyrights in order to help verify whether the items are genuine
NEMA testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance in 2013 in support of the latter provision. CBP is an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, but the trade facilitation and enforcement functions of the agency are overseen by the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Ways and Means Committee.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) represents nearly 400 electrical, medical imaging manufacturers at the forefront of electrical safety, reliability, resilience, efficiency, and energy security. Our combined industries account for more than 400,000 American jobs and more than 7,000 facilities across the U.S. Domestic production exceeds $117 billion per year.
National Electrical Manufacturers Association
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