February 24,2016

Press Contact:

Keith Chu (202) 224-3789 

Wyden Praises President’s Signature of Strongest Trade Enforcement Package in Decades

President Obama Signs Wyden Bill Creating Tough New Tools For U.S. Agencies To Stop Illegal Trade; Protecting American Workers and Businesses from Foreign Trade Cheats; Closing Loophole that Allowed Imports of Goods Made with Slave Labor; Establishing Permanent Ban on Internet Access Taxes

WASHINGTON Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today celebrated President Obama’s signature of a major package of new tools to crack down on foreign trade cheats and stand up for American workers and businesses. Wyden, who authored the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, called the bill’s enactment a significant step toward trade done right.

“American workers and businesses don’t have to stand for foreign companies that break the rules with impunity, and enforcement that amounts to too little too late,” Wyden said. “This law evens up the odds. It requires the U.S. to go after foreign companies that dodge U.S. duties, it closes an unconscionable loophole on imports of goods made with slave labor and it amounts to a major step toward trade done right.”

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 access 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.