Legislation giving U.S. Customs and Border Protection expanded authority and funding to combat
textile import fraud has been introduced in the Senate. It is a companion measure to the Textile
Enforcement and Security Act that is pending in the House with 25 co-sponsors.
As the bill was introduced by Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., David
Hastings, chairman of the National Council of Textile Organizations, said the measure “will send a
clear message that the U.S. government will not allow fraudulent activity on imported textile and
apparel goods to continue.”
The House and Senate bills include provisions that would establish an electronic verification
system for textile and apparel imports; allow the Department of Homeland Security to use fines and
penalties to help pay for investigations and training, increase the staff at high-volume ports for
textiles and apparel, and establish a program to ensure that resident agents are held accountable
for products imported under their name.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection currently collects more than $25 billion in duties
annually, and more than 42 percent of the duties are collected on textile and apparel imports. In
spite of this, textile manufacturers contend that many imports are entering this country
undervalued for customs purposes, and there continues to be a problem with illegal transshipments,
particularly through countries with which the United States has preferential trade agreements.
August 10, 2010