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.

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