(STR Trade Report)
The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing May 17 to inform its development of customs re-authorization legislation. This hearing will focus on efforts to enhance economic growth and job creation by facilitating legitimate trade, modernizing customs procedures and enforcing U.S. customs and trade laws. George Weise, former CBP commissioner and currently executive vice president of Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services, will be among those testifying.
A press release notes that Ways and Means last conducted a comprehensive review of the structure and resources of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from a commercial operations and customs enforcement perspective in May 2010. Since that time “there has been growing concern that, in particular, existing efforts to modernize trade functions, facilitate legitimate trade, and enforce customs laws may not be keeping pace with the growing volumes of trade.” The press release states that CBP has been implementing several programs to automate trade (e.g., the Automated Commercial Environment and the International Trade Data System), improve compliance and identify shipments that violate U.S. laws and that the trade community has made large investments in international supply chains through advance submissions of cargo data and partnership programs between government and business (e.g., the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism). The May 17 hearing will explore how these enhanced targeting and screening tools can be improved to reduce costs, smooth movements of legitimate trade by trusted partners and increase compliance. The hearing will also address how CBP manages its resources and whether any structural or other changes are needed to ensure that it can effectively enforce U.S. customs and trade laws, including in the areas of anti-dumping and countervailing duties, intellectual property rights and textiles.
Both the House and Senate have been working on customs re-authorization bills for some time. Click here for a list of topics that could be included in this legislation.
Date: May 12, 2012