Legislation strengthens trade policies, modernizes U.S. Customs and Border Protection, bans taxing Internet access
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., a member of the Senate Finance Committee, praised Senate passage of legislation today that will modernize U.S. Customs and Border Protection, strengthen trade enforcement and permanently ban state and local governments from taxing Internet access.
As a member of the conference committee that worked out differences in the Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act, H.R.644, between the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, Isakson was key to its passage both in committee and on the floor of the Senate. The measure passed the Senate today by a vote of 75-20.
The Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act will reduce budget deficits by $116 million over a 10-year period, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office.
“I was proud to serve as a Senate negotiator on this important legislation to ensure the needs of hardworking Americans were best represented,” said Isakson. “This bill modernizes our trade policies, and it is a victory for manufacturing in America and in my home state of Georgia, which is home to the world’s busiest airport and to two deep-water ports. Modern, streamlined trade enforcement and facilitation mechanisms will help our customs agents. The bill also strengthens our country’s ability to defend American producers from unfair trade practices and barriers. Finally, trade agreements should never be used as an avenue to change our nation’s immigration laws, and this legislation will prevent that from occurring.”
Specifically, the Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act modernizes elements of the customs processing system, updates trade enforcement remedies and enhances authorities to enforce and protect intellectual property rights. Additionally, it:
- Addresses currency manipulation;
- Prevents trade agreements from changing our immigration laws;
- Permanently bans state and local governments from taxing Internet access; and
- Makes certain amendments to the Trade Promotion Authority Act signed into law earlier this year.
The Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in December 2015. It now goes to the president’s desk to be signed into law.