Sullivan Applauds Passage of Customs Bill: Secures Provision to Enhance Alaska Fisheries

WASHINGTON, DC —U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) applauded the Senate’s passage of H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, which is now headed to the President for his signature. The legislation will allow authorities to aggressively enforce U.S. trade laws, protect obligations gained under international trade agreements, and continue to strengthen U.S. intellectual property laws. 

Working closely with Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senator Sullivan was able to include a provision in the bill that will bolster fisheries in Alaska and across the country. For the first time ever, fisheries will be a principal negotiating objective for all future trade agreements. The measure will lead to a reduction or an elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, eliminate subsidies that distort trade, and open new markets for American fish, seafood, and shellfish products around the globe.

“Trade is incredibly important to Alaska’s economy. It supports more than one in five jobs in the state,” said Senator Sullivan. “And we are truly a ‘seafood superpower.’ We lead the country in exports of fish and seafood products. In 2013, those exports of seafood and fish amounted roughly $2.3 billion. I’m pleased that this bill will bolster Alaska’s fisheries and seafood. In all sectors, stronger trade agreements and enforcement mean more opportunity for our country’s workforce, from oil and gas workers, to those in the high tech industry, to farmers and fishermen.”

The legislation also:

  • Includes language from the Internet Tax Fairness Act that prohibits any state or local government from imposing taxes on Internet access or imposing discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.
  • Makes certain amendments to the Trade Promotion Authority Act signed into law earlier this year.
  • Addresses currency manipulation.
  • Expresses a sense of the Congress urging the committees of jurisdiction to advance a regular and predictable suspension and reduction of duties consistent with Senate and House rules, i.e., a miscellaneous tariff bill.