House Passes Trade Enforcement Legislation, Bill Includes Marchant Measure to Streamline Trade

The House today voted 256-158 to pass the Conference Report to H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. This legislation provides tools to strengthen U.S. trade enforcement and enhance the flow of legitimate trade at America’s borders and ports of entry.

Included in this bill is the legislative text of the REST Act, a bill by U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) to remove an onerous Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requirement that would inhibit international trade and increase compliance costs for American businesses.

“Texas has led the nation in international commerce for 13 years running and that has created millions of well-paying jobs throughout the state,” said Marchant. “Supporting future job growth through trade requires innovative tools to strengthen and streamline our trade enforcement policies. That’s what the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act delivers. And with the inclusion of the REST Act, the bill helps harmonize trade practices at our borders and reduce unnecessary compliance costs on American businesses – both of which are key to promoting a healthier U.S. economy. I am pleased that the House passed this trade enforcement legislation with broad support and I encourage the Senate to do the same.”

In addition to the trade enforcement and facilitation provisions of this Conference Report, the bill also includes a permanent ban on state taxation of internet access and other state taxes on internet commerce. These provisions are similar to those of H.R. 235, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, which Marchant cosponsored and voted to pass earlier this year.