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Blumenthal Statement on Vote in Favor of Customs Enforcement Bill

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) released the following statement after voting in favor of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 Conference Report, which the Senate passed by a vote of 75-20.

“This measure is a boon to Connecticut businesses – in a state that thrives on trade – by providing fair, enforceable rules and resources to make sure they're followed,” Sen. Blumenthal said. “By comprehensively cracking down on unfair trade, this bill will benefit companies in Connecticut – allowing them to grow jobs at home as they expand markets abroad. The law will now provide accountability, information sharing, and additional training and personnel – crucial to leveling the global playing field. We still must do more in this area, including stronger provisions to address currency manipulation, human trafficking, and greenhouse gas emissions, and I will work to address these issues in future legislation.”

The bill includes varied provisions to ensure that foreign countries and businesses comply with United States law and obligations under international trade agreements, including:

  • Provisions from the ENFORCE and PROTECT Acts, which enable interested parties to submit allegations of evasion of duties on unfairly traded goods and authorize investigations and enforcement actions.
  • Training for Customs and Border Protection personnel in detecting and addressing illegal trade in wildlife and cultural artifacts.
  • Tools for Customs and Border Protection to enhance enforcement of U.S. trade laws at the border, including training and importer risk assessment standards.
  • Permanent establishment of the Interagency Center on Trade Implementation, Monitoring and Enforcement.
  • Expansion of the specific types of investigation of foreign trade barriers the Administration may pursue to include enforcement of environmental rules.
  • Reauthorization of the State Trade and Export Promotion grant program at the Small Business Administration.


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