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  • OTLT.USA
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  • OTRI.USA
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  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
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American Shipper

House lawmakers want trade ‘cheaters’ checked

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer said his recently introduced STRONGER Act would establish an enforcement trust fund that would be “paid for by foreign exporting cheaters.”

   A group of 18 congressman, led by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., has asked the White House’s trade representative Michael Froman to ensure that trade capacity building and enforcement are part of any trade agreement negotiations, such as the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership.
   Blumenauer said his legislation, the STRONGER (Supplemental Trade Review, Oversight, Noncompliance and General Enforcement Resources) Act, would establish an enforcement trust fund, “paid for by foreign exporting cheaters, to allow the United States to better enforce and implement our trade agreements, with a focus on environmental and labor commitments.”
   In a letter to Froman on Tuesday, the lawmakers specifically highlighted the ongoing problems with illegal timber harvesting and exports from Peru, despite the environmental protection provisions in the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. The problem was explained in a June briefing paper produced by the non-governmental organization Environmental Investigation Agency.
   “It is essential that the administration take additional steps and fully leverage our bilateral agreement and its Annex on Forest Sector Governance so that the landmark environmental provisions many of us worked so hard to secure have greater impact,” the House lawmakers said. “One of the many additional steps that could be taken is leveraging the information obtained in Operation Amazonas, a joint effort carried out by Interpol, the World Customs Organization, Peru Customs and others, which resulted in the seizure of illegal timber products worth over $20 million.”

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