The 114th Congress: Encouraging Trade to Benefit Texans
by John Cornyn on December 21, 2016 at 12:44 PM
During the 114th Congress, several pieces of legislation became law to help Texas farmers, ranchers and small businesses sell their goods to international customers and improve the flow of commerce across our borders:
Trade Promotion Authority (Passed House 6/18/15, passed Senate 6/24/15, became law 6/29/15)
- Reduces barriers for American products to be sold to the 96 percent of the world’s consumers that live outside the United States.
- Enables Texas farmers, ranchers and small businesses to sell their goods and services in new markets around the world and to compete in the global economy.
Cross Border Trade Enhancement Act (Passed Senate 11/29/16, passed House 12/6/16, passed Senate again 12/10/16, became law 12/16/16)
- Promotes public-private partnerships to boost staffing and make infrastructure improvements at U.S. ports of entry without adding to the national deficit.
- Developed with input from border community leaders and transportation industry stakeholders following successful pilot program agreements, including at the Paso Del Norte Bridge in El Paso.
Starr-Camargo Bridge Charter Extension (Passed Senate 3/17/16, passed House 5/16/16, became law 5/20/16)
- Grants the Starr-Camargo International Bridge in Rio Grande City, TX permanent operating authority, allowing the bridge to continue connecting communities across the Rio Grande.
American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (Passed House 4/27/16, passed Senate 5/10/16, became law 5/20/16)
- Reforms the process for local businesses to petition the federal government for tariff relief to temporarily reduce or eliminate tariffs on imported products that are not made in the United States but are vital for production and manufacturing in states like Texas.
Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (Passed House 2/12/15, passed Senate 5/14/15, passed House again 12/11/15, passed Senate again 2/11/16, became law 2/24/16)
- Reauthorizes the Customs and Border Patrol Agency, strengthens trade enforcement laws, and adds new protections for intellectual property rights.
Trade Preferences Extension Act (Passed House 6/11/15, passed Senate 6/24/15, passed House again 6/25/15, became law 6/29/15)
- Continues trade programs that assist developing countries and provide important benefits for American workers and consumers.