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As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce prepares for its 2015 Global Supply Chain Summit on May 12, the issues being discussed are becoming more prominent. On the international front, we see countries coming together around the ratification of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement. Domestically, we see Congress moving forward with the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, commonly referred to as Customs Reauthorization. At the same time, Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the President’s Executive Order on Trade Facilitation are moving forward. It is an exciting time, as all of these initiatives improve the competitiveness of U.S. business.
The Chamber applauds the WTO for adopting the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and the broader Bali Package. The agreement advances reforms to streamline the passage of goods across borders by cutting red tape and bureaucracy in ways that could boost the world economy by as much as $1 trillion, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
We will only see the benefits of the TFA if countries get serious about ratification. The Chamber urges all WTO members to ratify this agreement by the WTO’s 10th Ministerial Conference, which will be held in December in Nairbobi, Kenya, and then work with the private sector to maximize the commercially meaningful benefits.
The modernization of international borders starts at home. Limiting cross-border friction for the movement of goods at our own borders will boost the global competitiveness of U.S. businesses, simplify trade for small and medium-sized businesses, and all while reducing costs for highly-integrated supply chains.
This is why the Chamber supports a clean Customs Reauthorization bill. It will address chokepoints at our borders, lower transaction costs of trade, and provide needed resources for trade facilitation, security, customs modernization, and the enforcement of intellectual property rights.
More recently, we have found that the Customs Reauthorization bill in the Senate has been bogged with amendments that jeopardize the bill’s ability to clear Congress. We urge Congress to press forward with a clean and bipartisan Customs Reauthorization that both the House and Senate can agree on, so we can secure the benefits of trade facilitation.
Whether you are interested in TFA, TPA, TTIP, TPP, C-TPAT, CEEs, Custom Authorization or any other acronym impacting U.S. competitiveness, please join us at the Chamber’s 2015 Global Supply Chain Summit on May 12, 2015.