Ohio senators urge for crack down on duty evasion

Ohio senators urge for crack down on duty evasion
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A pair of Ohio senators are urging the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to crack down on foreign companies that skirt import duties.

Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment On The Money: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency | Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing | Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses Hillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei MORE (D) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanFighting the opioid epidemic: Congress can't just pass laws, but must also push to enforce them The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Rising number of GOP lawmakers criticize Trump remarks about minority Dems MORE (R) sent a letter on Tuesday to Kevin McAleenan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs, urging him to fully implement laws aimed at improving the collection of antidumping and countervailing duties and stopping evaders. 

The senators argue that a wide range of U.S. industries are hurt by the combination of under-collection and evasion of those duties.

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The senators urged McAleenan to rework an interim rule published in August, which they said comes up short on what is needed to make the duty evasion process more transparent and timely.

"We urge you to issue a revised rule that addresses the concerns outlined above to ensure all U.S. workers and companies who are affected by unfair trade practices get the relief they deserve," they wrote to McAleenan.

Duty evasion occurs when goods entering the United States aren’t covered by antidumping or countervailing duty cases.

The Ohio lawmakers praised an executive order signed by President Trump in March meant to step up the collection of antidumping and countervailing duties. 

"We are pleased that the administration agrees with these priorities and is placing an emphasis on duty collection," the senators wrote to McAleenan.

"However, duty evasion must also be a top priority to ensure U.S. manufacturers get needed relief from unfair trade practices,” they wrote.

The letter comes two days ahead of McAleenan's nomination hearing for the CBP job before the Senate Finance Committee, of which Brown and Portman are members, on Thursday.