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Senator’s proposal targets foreign companies that smuggle goods to avoid import fees

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NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF U.S. SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL (MO.)

McCaskill Bill Leveling Playing Field for Missouri Businesses Included in ‘Manufacturing Jobs for America’ Initiative

Senator’s proposal targets foreign companies that smuggle goods to avoid import fees

WASHINGTON – A broad “Manufacturing Jobs for America” jobs initiative was announced in the U.S. Senate today, and included in the measure is Senator Claire McCaskill’s proposal targeting foreign companies that smuggle products into the country to avoid paying import fees. McCaskill’s bill would level the playing field for Missouri businesses and provide a boon to U.S. manufacturers.

“Missouri manufacturers can and will compete with and beat our international competitors—but they can only do that if everyone is playing by the same rules,” McCaskill said. “This bill will crack down on companies that skirt U.S. import laws, which will protect Americans from unsafe products and American manufacturers from unfair trade practices—and boost Missouri jobs in the process.”

McCaskill’s proposal is part of the “Manufacturing Jobs for America” effort in the Senate, which is designed to promote American manufacturing and spur on our fragile economic recovery and would curb duty evasion by focusing on two key obstacles: that duty evaders are difficult to identify and locate; and that current law allows foreign companies that have not previously exported to the U.S. to post a bond to cover the duties they are estimated to owe, while other shippers are required to pay cash—with foreign companies often “disappearing” before paying the fully assessed amount of the duties they owe.

McCaskill’s bill would address these issues by:

· Creating “know-your-customer” rules for customs brokers: the bill would require customs brokers to obtain identifying information from their clients, and make a good faith effort to verify that information. The information would then be available to law enforcement during an investigation, thereby increasing the likelihood the lawbreakers can be identified and brought to justice.

· Permanently eliminating the “bonding-in-lieu” provision for new shippers: Current law allows new shippers to post a bond for duties owed, rather than cash up front as all other shippers are required to do. Under McCaskill’s legislation, new foreign importers would have to pay the full estimate of duties owed on products they are importing up front.

McCaskill introduced this legislation in the previous Congress and continues to be a strong advocate for growth in the manufacturing industry.

Click HERE to read highlights of McCaskill’s fight to expand job opportunities.

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