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On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade held a hearing on “Effective Enforcement of U.S. Trade Laws.” Trade Subcommittee members evaluated U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) efforts to comply with the provisions and deadlines outlined in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (PL 114-125). CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske briefed the Committee on the agency’s progress in meeting its legislative obligations.

Commissioner Kerlikowske acknowledged CBP’s delinquency on a number of statutory deadlines, but assured Committee members that the agency has been working diligently to fulfill its obligations. In addition to shifting staff priorities, the CBP Office of Trade collected all legal deadlines and triaged assignments to provide priority attention to the most urgent matters. Commissioner Kerlikowske concluded that the CBP was “well on the way” to implementing the majority of its requirements by the end of the calendar year.

The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 stresses the need for robust enforcement of trade rules and enhances opportunities for companies to inform the CBP of alleged duty evasion and circumvention by other parties. The Trade Subcommittee hearing exhibits a continued, dedicated effort by Congress to monitor and penalize perpetrators of unfair trade practices.

The new regulations impose a greater risk on American importers and manufacturers with international supply chains. Husch Blackwell’s International Trade & Supply Chain team has vast experience with CBP processes and procedures, as well as trade remedy and enforcement law. Please contact Jeffrey Neeley, Robert Stang, Cortney Morgan, or your HB attorney to navigate the new enforcement regulations and learn how they may affect your business.

For additional information on CBP’s procedures for investigating duty evasion and circumvention, please see our Industry Alert.