House Steel Caucus Rejects CBP Demand For Opt-Out From ENFORCE Process

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A bipartisan group of 40 members of the House Steel Caucus this week told the House Ways & Means Committee leadership that they reject as weakening of current law the demand by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to be able to opt out of new procedures for handling trade remedy duty evasion investigations under the ENFORCE Act in certain circumstances.

December 1, 2015 | Inside U.S. Trade

The ENFORCE Act, which is part of the Senate version of the customs enforcement bill, would set up new procedures and deadlines for CBP to investigate anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) evasion complaints by domestic producers.

Informed sources have said that CBP, in the informal customs bill conference, is demanding that it be allowed to suspend ENFORCE procedures for complaints that involve merchandise already subject to a separate criminal or civil investigations.

“Recent reports that negotiators are considering ‘opt out’ provisions, such as allowing CBP to suspend the ENFORCE procedure while other agencies investigate criminal or civil claims related to the same illegal merchandise are alarming because they are effectively a loophole for CBP to continue failing to enforce the law,” the Steel Caucus members said in their Nov. 30 letter to Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI).

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