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Legislation should make some trade more fair

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that Congress has passed pro-business legislation to ensure that U.S. companies and producers are treated fairly under international trade agreements. Hoeven worked to include a provision in the bill to provide U.S. honey producers with compensation from unfair foreign trade practices. Additionally, the legislation makes permanent the ban on states and localities taxing Internet access.

“This pro-business legislation makes sure that our companies and our producers are treated fairly in international trade,” said Hoeven. “One example is a provision we included in the bill to ensure that our honey producers receive compensation they deserve from unfair trade practices by foreign competitors. That’s important because North Dakota is the number one honey producing state in the nation.”

Streamlines Honey Dumping Compensation for U.S. Producers

Hoeven worked to include a provision in the legislation to provide the nation’s honey producers with compensation from unfair foreign trade practices. The provision modifies U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) payment practices so that domestic producers receive all of the proceeds collected from anti-dumping settlements, which the U.S. honey industry believes could result in more than $100 million in compensation to domestic producers from foreign honey producers engaged in unfair trading practices.

As chairman of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Committee, Hoeven included a provision in the DHS funding bill to provide honey producers with long-overdue compensation that led to its inclusion in the customs reauthorization legislation.

Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act

The legislation makes permanent the ban on states and localities taxing Internet access and requires grandfathered states and localities to phase-out existing taxes through June 2020.

“We passed the Internet Tax Freedom Act as part of pro-business legislative package,” said Hoeven. “This is very important because it ensures that no taxes can be levied on use of the internet and that is something that affects everybody from companies to individuals.”

Tools to Enforce U.S. Trade Laws

Congress passed the pro-business provisions as part of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, customs reauthorization legislation that strengthens CBP’s ability to combat violations of U.S. trade law and ensures that U.S. companies are treated fairly. The legislation also:

Improves CBP enforcement and holds it accountable to effectively act against evasion of antidumping and countervailing duties through a new CBP process with strict deadlines and judicial review.

Addresses currency manipulation.

Modernizes CBP’s processing systems.

Reaffirms that trade agreements must not include obligations for the United States regarding greenhouse gas or require changes to U.S. immigration law or expanded visa access.

Establishes a new enforcement fund to provide the necessary resources to enforce our trade agreements.

–Senator Hoeven


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