February 11,2016

Press Contact:

Keith Chu (202) 224-3789 

Wyden Applauds Passage of Strong Trade Enforcement Package to Crack Down on Foreign Trade Cheats

Bill Now Goes to the President; Includes Key Democratic Priorities Protecting American Workers and Businesses; Creates New Tools For U.S. Agencies To Stop Illegal Trade

WASHINGTON Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., praised the Senate passage of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, the strongest package of enforcement tools in decades to crack down on foreign trade cheats. It passed by a 75-20 vote today.

It’s about creating tough trade enforcement policies, seeing them through, and standing up to anybody who tries to get around them,” Wyden said. “It says that the U.S. will no longer stand by while American workers and businesses get their clocks cleaned by the scofflaws.”

The Trade Enforcement Act now goes to the president, who is expected to sign it into law.

A full summary of the bill is here. It includes:

  • The Enforce Act, to stop foreign companies from laundering merchandise to evade U.S. duties.
  • A provision closing a loophole for imports of products made with slave and child labor.
  • A new interagency trade enforcement center to centralize trade enforcement efforts.
  • Expansion of trade preferences available to Nepal.
  • New tools for the Treasury Department to combat currency manipulation by creating real consequences for foreign countries.
  • Reauthorization of a grant program to help small businesses reach foreign markets.
  • Creation of a trust fund to ensure that there are sufficient resources for trade enforcement.
  • A permanent ban on Internet accesses taxes, preventing regressive taxes that could cost working families hundreds of dollars a year. It also bans multiple and discriminatory taxes on Internet goods and services. Wyden authored the original Internet Tax Freedom Act in 1998 and fought to renew it for years.