GAO Report on Antidumping. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released a statement on 15 August in response to the GAO report titled, “Antidumping and Countervailing Duties: CBP Action Needed to Reduce Duty Processing Errors and Mitigate Nonpayment Risk.” He stated:

[The] GAO report highlights that the Administration needs to do much more to enforce our trade laws. It is unacceptable that $2.3 billion in antidumping and countervailing duties owed to the U.S. Government by foreign companies who have violated our trade laws still hasn’t been collected by [CBP].”

CBP – Enforce Act Interim Regulatory Rule Released. Last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released interim rules implementing Section 421 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA). Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) applauded CBP’s release of the interim rules on 19 August. In a Friday statement, Senator Wyden commented on the new CBP rules in a statement:

The trade cheats have proven they’ll go down every avenue they can to get illegally imported products into our market, undermining our workers and manufacturers. Finally stronger tools are in place to crack down on duty evasion to protect American jobs. I’m pleased with how these pro-jobs rules have come together, and I’m going to continue working with CBP throughout the implementation process to make sure they’re successful.”

CBP published the interim rules for implementing the TFTEA to fight the evasion of existing AD/CV duties on Monday, 22 August in The Federal Register.

President Obama’s Upcoming Asia-Pacific Trip. President Obama will travel to China and Laos 2-9 September, where he plans to highlight the United States’ ongoing commitment to the G-20, a forum for international economic cooperation, as well as the rebalance to Asia and the Pacific. The visit also will support the President’s efforts to expand opportunities for American businesses and workers to sell their products this region; the TPP deal is seen as key for unlocking these markets to U.S. exports.

EU Insurance Regulations – W&Ms Leaders Express Concern. On 17 August, House Ways & Means Committee (W&M) leaders – Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-Michigan) – sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman expressing concerns that the EU’s new insurance regulations are “unjustifiable trade barriers” that discriminate against U.S. companies, just as the U.S. and EU continue efforts towards an insurance agreement.