Brown Statement on Expected Trade Executive Orders

2016 Customs Law Brown Supported Requires Duty Collection Crackdown Expected in Today’s Announcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement in response to reports that President Donald Trump is expected to sign two executive orders on trade today. According to reports, one will call for an examination of trade deficits, and the second will be aimed at under-collection of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on unfairly traded foreign goods.

Congress, with Brown’s support, established the Importer Risk Assessment Program in the Trade Enforcement and Trade Facilitation Act of 2016. This law required Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to implement a crackdown on duty collections similar to what reports say the President will include in today’s executive order. 

“Ohio companies, from the steel sector to the paper industry, don’t benefit from duties if the cheaters aren’t forced to pay – that’s why Congress required CBP to crack down on duty collection in the 2016 Customs Law. American workers are counting on us to make trade cheats pay what they owe,” Brown said of the expected duties collection announcement.

Brown called on Trump to reexamine all trade agreements as part of the strategy for rewriting the nation’s trade policy, in a letter to the then President-elect in November.

“There’s no question we need to reexamine failed trade agreements of the past as we work to renegotiate better deals for the future. But studies aren’t going to create jobs or boost paychecks in Ohio – we need action. So the real test will be whether President Trump uses the findings to take bold action to crack down on cheating, like Chinese steel overcapacity, and stop factories from moving overseas,” Brown said of the reported study of trade deficits.   

“President Trump made big promises to Ohioans on trade, and I’m ready and willing to work with him to make good on these promises and to hold him accountable if he falls short.”

Immediately after President Trump’s election, Brown reached out to his transition team to offer his help on retooling U.S. trade policy. Brown wrote to Trump in November offering specific steps to work together on trade and Trump responded with a handwritten note.