Trade Enforcement Bill Passes Senate, Illustrates Existing Challenges to U.S. Customs

Among the highly debated components of the controversial Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation currently being debated in Congress are trade enforcement issues such as currency manipulation and dumping. While debate over TPA has brought these issues further into the public eye, anti-dumping and countervailing duty (ADCVD) enforcement have long posed challenges to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Unlike most other countries where ADCVD monies are collected prior to goods entering the market, the U.S. has a retrospective system where duties or penalties, which can total up to hundreds of millions of dollars annually, may not be determined by the U.S. Department of Commerce until years later, creating serious challenges for CBP in the collection process.

Regardless of the outcome of TPA and the two massive pending U.S. trade deals it affects, as longs as the retrospective system is in place, Congress should support CBP in its ADCVD enforcement efforts. Technologies such as emerging business intelligence and data-analytic tools which enhance risk management capabilities can aid in these efforts.

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