U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Trade Facilitation, Enforcement, and Security [May 18, 2015]   [open pdf - 613KB]

"International trade is a critical component of the U.S. economy, with U.S. merchandise imports amounting to $2.4 trillion and exports to $1.6 trillion in 2014. 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 monitoring, regulating, and facilitating the flow of goods through U.S. ports of entry (POEs). CBP's policies are designed to (1) ensure the smooth flow of imported cargo through U.S. POEs; (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 Senate, on May 14, 2015, S. 1269 was incorporated into H.R. 644 (renamed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015) and subsequently passed by a vote of 78-20. Bills introduced in the House include H.R. 1907 (Tiberi; introduced April 21, 2015); and H.R. 1916 (Levin; introduced April 21, 2015)."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43014
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