Rep. Dan Lipinski, D- Ill., has introduced legislation which aims to stop foreign manufacturers from skirting U.S. Customs duties by creating a better information-sharing network between the industry and government.
A Government Accountability Office analysis has found that these companies have cheated the U.S. government out of $600 million in duties since 2001. Manufacturers work around customs fees by undervaluing goods, misclassifying products or shipping cargo to a middleman country to hide the country of origin. The law would require Customs and Border Protection to seek out trade groups and other industry organizations that could help identify mislabeled shipments.
“Blatant cheating by foreign firms has become more widespread at a time when American employers and workers are already at a serious disadvantage. This is not only bad for American business, but it hurts taxpayers by robbing the federal government of taxes it is rightfully owed,” Lipinski said in a statement.
Lipinski modeled the bill, the Customs Training Enhancement Act, after a program between CBP and the steel industry.
“The steel industry has shown us a public-private partnership that saves taxpayers millions of dollars while costing the federal government very few, if any, resources,” he said. “We need to expand this program and fight back against the lying and cheating by foreign companies that are hurting American taxpayers, businesses, and workers.” - Jon Ross