The measure, which was authored in the Senate by Finance leaders, Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), authorizes U.S. Customs and Border Protection and puts in place effective tools to strengthen trade enforcement at the border and facilitate the efficient movement of legitimate trade and travel. Passage of the bill marks the largest legislative reform in customs and enforcement policy in nearly 20 years.
“Today’s Senate action culminates what has been an historic thirteen months for trade legislation in our chamber,” said Hatch. “Years of stagnation had enabled countless trade problems to accumulate, many of them crying for legislative resolution. Today, Congress responded and moved to enact legislation that will strengthen and modernize U.S. international trade institutions and policies for generations to come. This is a big win for American job creators and the future of trade policy in our country. Even more, it further underscores that through bipartisan persistence and hard work Congress can accomplish great things.”
The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act passed the Senate by a vote of 75 to 20. This marks the fourth major trade bill that has moved through the 114th Congress under Chairman Hatch’s leadership. With approval from the U.S. Senate, this legislation will send two more Senate Finance Committee bills to the President’s desk to be signed into law. In addition to the trade enforcement provisions, H.R. 644 included the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act, bipartisan legislation to permanently ban the internet tax.