Obama Signs Into Law H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act

Enrollment ceremony for the bill to officially send it to the President for signature

Enrollment ceremony for the bill to officially send it to the President for signature

President Barack Obama has signed into law H.R. 644, which will accomplish the following:

  • Create a dedicated unit within U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to prevent and investigate trade evasion
  • Create a CBP point of contact for private sector trade evasion allegations with the authority to direct evasion investigations and the duty to inform interested parties about the status of investigations
  • Require CBP and Commerce to establish procedures to ensure maximum cooperation and communication in order to quickly, efficiently, and accurately investigate allegations of trade evasion
  • Direct CBP to enter into agreements with foreign countries to enable proactive investigation overseas
  • Require CBP to annually report to Congress on all of the agency’s activities to combat trade evasion

The bill also contains the PROTECT Act safeguarding Louisiana seafood from illegally dumped foreign product.  The Act was shepherded through the Congress by Congressman Charles Boustany, LA-03.

The following was said regarding passage of this bill:

Boustany: “It’s simple – if foreign competitors want to sell in our markets, they need to play by our rules. The PROTECT Act provides necessary safeguards to ensure no foreign entity can undercut American businesses and jobs in our own backyard. This is a monumental win for Louisiana. I’ll keep fighting to ensure our trade laws are fair and work to support American commerce.”

John Williams, Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance: “Simply stated, this would not have happened without the intensive and persistent efforts of Congressman Boustany.  While the Congressman has been an effective champion of the US shrimp industry for many years, the enactment of this legislation may be the most far reaching and beneficial of all.  Every year illegal shrimp imports defraud the federal government and American taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars in unpaid duties.  They have also seriously injured our shrimp fishermen and the economies of coastal communities in Louisiana and throughout the Gulf and South Atlantic.  This legislation will substantially strengthen the ability of US Customs and Border Protection and other federal agencies to investigate, prosecute, and end these harmful fraudulent activities.”

Posted on February 25, 2016 and filed under Charles Boustany, Louisiana, Barack Obama.