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Trade Remedy Enforcement Would Get Boost Under FY 2015 DHS Spending Bill

Friday, July 25, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The fiscal year 2015 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security (S. 2534) recently reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee includes several provisions aimed at improving U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s enforcement of antidumping and countervailing duty orders. Lawmakers have been critical of the large amount of AD/CV duties that have gone uncollected by CBP, which is approaching a cumulative $2 billion, and again are seeking ways to address the “trade fraud and evasion … widespread in many commodity sectors” that they believe are major contributors to this problem.

According to the report, the bill directs CBP to take the following actions to improve AD/CV duty collections.

- dedicate $3 million to develop an automated system for the administration and oversight of single transaction bonds

- review the membership of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations (COAC) and consider adding domestic industries affected by dumped or subsidized imports to sit on the Trade Enforcement subcommittee to provide advice through the AD working group

- work with the departments of Homeland Security and Commerce to identify opportunities for DOC to improve the timeliness, accuracy and clarity of liquidation instructions sent to CBP

- report to Congress on collection of outstanding AD/CV duties, including the number of claims, the value of each claim, the stage of collection for each claim, the date on which the claim was referred for further action to either the CBP Chief Counsel or the Department of Justice, the steps that have been taken to recover funds and the challenges that prevent collection

- provide a separate report that includes specified information concerning each AD/CV duty order for which more than $25 million in assessed AD/CV duties secured by single entry bonds accepted as part of a new shipper review remains uncollected more than two years after the dates of liquidation of the secured entries

- report on how requiring cash deposits of estimated AD/CV duties during new shipper reviews (instead of allowing bonds) would strengthen the administration of AD/CV duty laws

The committee also urges the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to include as a principal U.S. negotiating objective in any trade agreement currently under negotiation or that may be negotiated in the future the prevention of AD/CV duty evasion through information exchanges and site visits. In addition, the committee recommends that the departments of Commerce and Homeland Security jointly develop a legislative proposal to remove any legal barriers to the sharing of appropriate and necessary information between them.

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