TRADE COALITION ON CUSTOMS REFORM DRAWS HEAVY HITTERS FROM INDUSTRY
A coalition of 150 executives from the U.S. import industry’s most powerful trade groups will meet in Washington today to begin laying the groundwork for a major Customs reform and modernization effort for the upcoming congressional year.
The coalition, which comprises the American Association of Exporters and Importers, Business Alliance for Customs Modernization, National Association of Manufacturers, Joint Industry Group and National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, said its primary objective is to reduce the cost of Customs compliance and administration and to identify common interests and positions.
Representatives from several Canadian industry groups with an interest in cross-border trade improvements, such as the Canadian Trucking Alliance, Canadian Association of Exporters and Importers, and the Canadian American Border Trade Alliance, will also attend the meeting.
Other areas of Customs operations to review are the third version of agency’s Entry Revision Project, entry reform and modernization, account-based processing of import data, risk management strategies and operations the state of the tariff, import laws and the consumer impact, and drawback regulations.
“The diverse representation of top executives in the industry highlights the fact that there’s a broad-based consensus that this Customs reform must go forward,” said James P. Finnegan, director of international trade and compliance for Sony Corp., and chairman of BACM. “It is absolutely crucial that industry take Customs reform to the top of the list of trade policy priorities for the next Congress and Administration.”
The coalition will press for Customs reform oversight hearings in the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees for early next year.