NAM Supporting U.S. Trade Facilitation Measure
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the largest manufacturing association in the United States, is urging member of Congress to support the conference report to H.R. 644, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.
“Outdated customs and border policies are costing manufacturers billions of dollars a year in increased operating costs and unfair competition, while also preventing manufacturers from moving their products in and out of the United States efficiently,” said Aric Newhouse, NAM’s senior vice president for policy and government relations, in a letter sent earlier this week to senators and representatives. “Existing customs rules have not kept pace with the growth and changes in trade or fully embraced technological advances, leading to bottlenecks at the border that impede the just-in-time manufacturing process.”
Manufacturers are also harmed by the evasion of U.S. trade remedy rules, a “growing problem,” according to NAM, of intellectual property theft overseas, and the failure of U.S. trading partners to fully enforce their trade agreement commitments.
The conference report to H.R. 644, a joint House-Senate bill which was negotiated by leaders of the two chambers, will address these issues, according to NAM, by providing the statutory authority to automate and modernize U.S. customs operations and eliminate red tape and reduce trade delays that affect manufacturers.
“This legislation implements a strong new mechanism, the Enforcing Orders and Reducing Customs Evasion (ENFORCE) Act,” said NAM, “to hold the U.S. government accountable for the enforcement of U.S. trade rules when evasion arises. It will also create new tools to improve enforcement of intellectual property rights overseas and trade agreement commitments.”
The legislation also reauthorizes the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program to provide matching funds that help small businesses advance their export opportunities overseas.