As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Finance on April 22, 2015
The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 would amend various trade statutes with the goal of strengthening agency enforcement efforts and improving the efficiency of the regulatory process. The bill would:
- Establish the Trade Enforcement Trust Fund to, among other things, support countries that are parties to a free trade agreement with the United States in implementing commitments under those agreements;
- Increase the funds available for distribution to eligible parties under the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act (CDSOA);
- Extend the authority to collect and increase the rate of certain customs user fees;
- Improve the claims process for refunds on duties paid for certain imported merchandise and increase the minimum value of goods for which duties must be paid;
- Deny passport applications, and allow existing passports to be revoked, for individuals with certain tax debt;
- Authorize the appropriation of $154 million annually over the 2016-2018 period for the Automated Commercial Environment program in Customs and Border Protection (CBP);
- Require CBP to improve and expand several trade regulation programs; and
- Require employers to report on the occupational classification of employees on a quarterly basis and require the Department of Labor to make that information available to state and federal agencies.
CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting the bill would increase direct spending by $146 million over the 2015-2025 period and increase revenues by $193 million over the same period, resulting in a net decrease in deficits over the 11-year period of $48 million.
Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending and revenues. In addition, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost about $1.2 billion over the 2016-2020 period.
CBO has determined that the nontax provisions of the bill would impose a mandate, as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), on public and private-sector employers by requiring those entities, when submitting quarterly wage reports to state agencies, to include additional occupational information that permits classification of their employees. The bill also would impose mandates on users of customs services and on importers.
CBO estimates that the cost of the mandate on state, local, and tribal governments would fall below the intergovernmental threshold established in UMRA ($77 million in 2015, adjusted annually for inflation). CBO estimates that the aggregate cost of the mandates on private entities would exceed the private-sector threshold ($154 million in 2015, adjusted annually for inflation).
JCT has determined that the tax provisions of the bill contain no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.