Barletta Hails Senate Passage of Customs Bill Protecting Steel, Jobs

Feb 11, 2016
Press Release
Guards against Foreign Dumping of Cheap Products into U.S. Markets

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today hailed the Senate passage of legislation that strengthens enforcement of U.S. customs and trade laws and protects American employers and workers from unfair practices by companies in other nations.  The conference report on the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (H.R. 644), which is the result of negotiations between the House and Senate, had already passed the House in December of last year and incorporates requirements Barletta insisted upon to protect American jobs from countries which illegally dump cheap products into markets like steel manufacturing.   The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk.

The provisions of the ENFORCE Act included in the legislation prevent countries from circumventing trade laws by shipping a product through another country and switching the label.   For example, when China dumps steel into America, American steel companies spend time and money building a case against the Chinese dumping.   If they win that case, the steel companies deserve to have the Chinese penalized for the dumping.  The ENFORCE Act makes sure that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) actually investigates the American companies’ case.  The ENFORCE Act gives CBP a strict deadline to review the case.  American companies can pursue a case in U.S. Trade Court if the company believes CBP is rubberstamping the decisions without fairly reviewing the details.

Barletta issued the following statement:

“This is a victory for manufacturers in Pennsylvania who 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.  This will protect the steel industry, and it will protect American jobs.   

“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.  The bill also contains critical protections against misguided attempts to use trade agreements to rewrite our domestic immigration laws and environmental regulations.  I urge the president to sign the bill.”