U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Trade Facilitation, Enforcement, and Security [April 3, 2013]   [open pdf - 565KB]

"International trade is a critical component of the U.S. economy, with U.S. merchandise imports and exports amounting to $2.2 trillion and $1.5 trillion in 2011, respectively. The efficient flow of legally traded goods in and out of the United States is thus a vital element of the country's economic security. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is the primary agency charged with ensuring the smooth flow of trade through U.S. ports of entry (POEs). CBP's policies with regard to U.S. imports are designed to (1) facilitate the smooth flow of imported cargo through U.S. ports of entry; (2) enforce trade and customs laws designed to protect U.S. consumers and business and to collect customs revenue; and (3) enforce import security laws designed to prevent weapons of mass destruction, illegal drugs, and other contraband from entering the United States--a complex and difficult mission. Congress has a direct role in organizing, authorizing, and defining CBP's international trade functions, as well as appropriating funding for and conducting oversight of its programs. In the 113th Congress, S. 662, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Reauthorization Act of 2013, seeks to reauthorize CBP's trade functions. Two bills were introduced at the end of the 112th Congress also seeking to reauthorize CBP's trade functions. These bills were H.R. [House Resolution] 6642 and H.R. 6656."

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CRS Report for Congress, R43014
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