To Facilitate Trade, NAM Suggests These Changes

By May 24, 2010Trade

The National Association of Manufacturers’ Frank Vargo, vice president for international economic affairs, testified before the Trade Subcommittee of House Ways and Means last Thursday at a hearing, “Customs Trade Facilitation and Enforcement in a Secure Environment.” Vargo was also speaking as a member of the Customs and Border Coalition (CBC)—a broad based industry group representing all interests in global supply chains from manufacturers and retailers to customs brokers and carriers.

His testimony delves into highly technical areas of trade enforcement, so we’ll just cite the overview:

This hearing is a significant step in recognizing:
* the role of economic security;
* the need to implement balanced, vetted, and effective policies to advance the twin goals of CBP [Customs and Border Protection];
* the importance of public-private partnerships and providing benefits for importers who have taken extensive efforts to secure their supply chains; and
* the need to improve commercial enforcement to prevent the circumvention of intellectual property rights (IPR) and to implement anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders.

We believe customs reauthorization legislation should seek to prioritize trade facilitation within CBP; improve interagency and Congressional coordination; recognize importers with strong compliance records; increase government and industry collaboration; strengthen intellectual property protections, trade enforcement and import safety programs; and expedite the completion of the many still outstanding modernizations needed within the agency. This is no small task, and we appreciate the ambition of this subcommittee to draft legislation to accomplish those ends. 

Note the emphasis on IPR, also highlighted in Doug Goudie’s post this morning on U.S.-Brazil trade.

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