Rep. Graves, 23 Cosponsors Introduce Bill To Save U.S. Textile Jobs

Bipartisan Bill Gives CBP More Tools To Crack Down On Illegal Imports

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

U.S. Rep. Tom Graves and 23 cosponsors Wednesday introduced the Textile Enforcement and Security Act, a bipartisan bill to save U.S. textile jobs by providing U.S. Customs and Border Protection with more tools to enforce trade laws and better target fraudulent textile and apparel goods coming into the United States.

“When trade violators sneak illegal goods into the United States it’s a direct threat to our textile workers,” said Rep. Graves. “The hardworking people in communities like Trion, Ga., shouldn’t have to worry about fraudsters in China stealing their livelihoods. Our bipartisan bill will modernize Customs and Border Protection so it has the enforcement tools necessary to crack down on illegal activity, collect more duties and penalties and protect 600,000 American jobs in the textile industry.”

Original cosponsors of TESA are Reps. Howard Coble (R-NC-6), Mike McIntyre (D-NC-7), Dan Lipinski (D-IL-3), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA-3), Mike Michaud (D-ME-2), Renee Ellmers (R-NC-2), Jim McGovern (D-MA-2), Richard Hudson (R-NC-8), Charles Rangel (D-NY-13), Walter Jones (R-NC-3), Sanford Bishop (D-GA-2), Mark Meadows (R-NC-11), Hank Johnson (D-GA-4), Robert Pittenger (R-NC-9), Linda Sanchez (D-CA-38), George Holding (R-NC-13), David Scott (D-GA-13), Trey Gowdy (R-SC-4), Joe Wilson (R-SC-2), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-9), Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10), Doug Collins (R-GA-9), and Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5). 

The Textile Enforcement and Security Act

How It Works
 
·         Provides More Tools To Combat Fraud

o   Increases the number of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) specialists in the Textile and Trade Agreements division and at over a dozen U.S. ports. Also assigns staff to train trade partners.
o   Clarifies that CBP has the authority to seize fraudulent textile and apparel goods imported under Trade Preference Area and Free Trade Agreement rules.
o   Establishes centralized databases so CBP can more effectively and efficiently identify high risk importers and supply chains.
o   Establishes an Electronic Verification Program to track yarn and fabric inputs in free trade agreements. Currently, inputs are tracked through paper documentation, a process that can easily be exploited.
o   Uses revenue from fines and penalties to reward informants who expose import violations.
o   Requires the U.S. Government to publish names of companies that intentionally violate the rules of textile and apparel trade agreements.
 
·         Directs the Homeland Security and Treasury Departments to use revenue from fines and penalties collected from textile and apparel import violations to pay for expenses directly related to customs enforcement and training.


What It Does
 
·         Protects 45,000 textile jobs in Georgia and 600,000 jobs across America in the textile industry.

·         Promotes growth in U.S. manufacturing.

·         Modernizes CBP’s enforcement capabilities, with an emphasis on efficiency.

·         Pays for itself. Already the second largest revenue generator for the federal government, CBP’s enhanced capabilities will yield even more revenue through fines and penalties on trade violators.

Sen. Alexander Urges TVA Not To Raise Tennesseans’ Electric Bills To Buy Power It Doesn’t Need

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) urged the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) not to purchase power from the Clean Line Energy Partners’ proposed Plains and Eastern Clean Line wind energy transmission project, which would “carry comparatively more expensive, less reliable electricity to Tennessee and other southeastern states.” In a speech on the Senate floor, Alexander ... (click for more)

Big Creek Utility District Among Those Awarded Over $14.2 Million In Water And Wastewater Construction Loans

Big Creek Utility District was among those Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announced Wednesday of three communities and two utility districts that have been approved to receive over $14.2 million in low-interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.   “The State Revolving Fund ... (click for more)

City Council Winner Anthony Byrd Told He Cannot Continue Working At The County And Be On City Post; Resigns At Criminal Court Clerk's Office

Anthony Byrd, who upset City Council Chairman Moses Freeman in the District 8 council race, has been told that under the city charter he cannot remain on his county job and hold the city post. Mr. Byrd has worked in the Criminal Court Clerk's office for the past 22 years. Criminal Court Clerk Vince Dean said Mr. Byrd got the news of the ruling on Tuesday. He said, "No one ... (click for more)

Judges Say Judge Bales Has Not Signed Letter To Governor On Medical Disability; They Can't Find Him

General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes said fellow Judge David Bales apparently has not yet signed a letter to the governor saying he plans to take medical disability. Judge Starnes said, "We can't reach him. He does not answer any of our calls or texts." He added, "We are concerned about his well-being." Judge Bales last Friday, after a sit-down meeting with the other ... (click for more)

Repeal Obamacare, Congressman Fleischmann - And Response

Chuck: I'm writing to express my strong opposition to the plan that is being rolled out by Paul Ryan to replace Obamacare. And as I'm writing this, I'm remembering all the times you and all of your Republican colleagues over the last six years campaigned on REPEALING  Obamacare and used that call to action as the basis for your reelection. And I'm also remembering the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: You, The Bald-Headed Lady

You were wearing a pretty sweat shirt and blue jeans when I saw you outside the Infusion Center at Erlanger Hospital on Wednesday. You were the one who was nearly bald and I was the guy you greeted with a huge smile as we said hello in passing. You reminded me exactly of my brother Franklin. Years ago when chemotherapy began to rob him of his hair, Franklin was pretty devastated ... (click for more)