Coalition Applauds Congressmen for Legislation to Strengthen Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders

New bill would strengthen U.S. enforcement of existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders.

The Coalition to Enforce Antidumping & Countervailing Duty Orders (the "Coalition") applauds the bipartisan legislation introduced on Friday by Representatives Billy Long (MO-7-R), Linda Sanchez (CA-39-D), Todd Akin (MO-2-R), Spencer Bachus (AL-6-R), Russ Carnahan (MO-3-D), Ben Chandler (KY-6-D), John Conyers, Jr. (MI-14-D), Mark Critz (PA-12-D), JoAnn Emerson (MO-8-R), Daniel Lipinski (IL-3-D), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9-R), Donald Manzullo (IL-16-R), Alan Nunnelee (MS-1-R), and Pete Stark (CA-13-D).

House Bill 3057, the Enforcing Orders and Reducing Customs Evasion Act of 2011, would strengthen U.S. enforcement of existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders. It is a companion bill to S.1133, the Enforcing Orders and Reducing Circumvention and Evasion (ENFORCE) Act of 2011, co-sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Richard Burr (R-NC).

The legislation establishes a rapid-response timeline by which U.S. Customs & Border Protection ("CBP"), the federal agency tasked with collecting duties and enforcing compliance with U.S. customs law, would respond to allegations of duty evasion. The law would require CBP to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to believe an importer is evading an AD/CVD order within 90 days of an allegation being put forward. If an affirmative preliminary determination is made, the law will require that cash deposits be made on entries of the merchandise until the investigation is concluded. These proceedings will protect the rights of all interested parties by providing transparency and procedural fairness to everyone.

"We commend these members of Congress for their commitment to halting the widespread illegal evasion of U.S. trade remedy laws by means such as transshipment through third countries and submission of fraudulent documentation," said Bill Upton, President of Vulcan Threaded Products and spokesperson for the Coalition. "Illegal duty evasion causes the loss of good-paying jobs, injures domestic industries, and costs the U.S. Treasury hundreds of millions of dollars in uncollected duties."

Upton noted that during mark-up of other trade legislation this summer Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) pledged to move the ENFORCE Act this year. "We are optimistic that the introduction of the companion House bill will spur Congress to move forward. Allowing unscrupulous exporters and importers to deliberately skirt our laws is contrary to the most fundamental principles of our legal system and undermines our ability to ensure that our trading partners are held accountable to the commitments they have made."

The Coalition to Enforce Antidumping & Countervailing Duty Orders consists of the following companies and industry associations: American Spring Wire Company (Bedford Heights, Ohio), GEO Specialty Chemicals (Lafayette, Indiana), Insteel Industries (Mt. Airy, North Carolina), JMC Steel Group (Beachwood, Ohio), Leggett & Platt, Incorporated (Carthage, Missouri), M&B Metal Products (Leeds, Alabama), Mid Continent Nail Corporation (Poplar Bluff, Missouri), Seaman Paper Company of Massachusetts, Inc. (Otter River, Massachusetts), Southern Shrimp Alliance (Tarpon Springs, Florida), SSW Holdings (Elizabethtown, Kentucky) and Vulcan Threaded Products (Pelham, Alabama). They are American producers that have been harmed by unfairly priced imports which are now subject to antidumping and/or countervailing duty orders.

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