Today’s strong Senate vote to send the conference report to H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, to the President’s desk for signature is an enormous victory for manufacturers. Outdated customs and border policies are costing American manufacturers billions of dollars a year in increased operating costs and unfair trade; they are essentially requiring businesses across the country to compete with one hand tied behind their backs. It is long past time to bring these policies up to date by cutting red tape and implementing practices that will strengthen manufacturers’ ability to compete globally on a fair and level playing field.
In spite of widespread support among many industries, including ours, and across party lines, this legislation has endured a long road to final passage. When Trade Promotion Authority and trade preference and adjustment legislation were enacted more than seven months ago, lawmakers made promises to grow manufacturing in the United States by completing the work on trade facilitation and enforcement legislation. Today’s final passage of this critical trade legislation is an important promise kept to manufacturers big and small throughout the United States.