Reps. Kissell, D-N.C., and Walter Jones, R-N.C., along with Reps. Coble, R-N.C., DeFazio, D-Ore., Ellmers, R-N.C., Foxx, R-N.C., Holden, D-Pa., Kaptur, D-Ohio, Lipinski, D-Ill., McGovern, D-Mass., McHenry, R-N.C., McIntyre, D-N.C., Michaud, D-Maine, Myrick, R-N.C., Rogers, R-Ala., Sutton, D-Ohio, and Westmoreland, R-Ga., reintroduced HR 2754 -- the Textile Enforcement and Security Act (TESA) in the House.

The TESA legislation seeks to increase U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enforcement activities as well as trade facilitation through improved targeting, increased resources and enhanced authority.

“We applaud Representatives Jones, R-N.C., and Kissell, D-N.C., for taking the lead on this important issue. Strong enforcement of our trade laws is imperative to the creation and preservation of jobs in the small towns and rural communities where our members operate,” National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President Cass Johnson said in a NCTO news release. “And we look forward to working with Senator Hagan, D-N.C., over the recess to introduce the companion bill in the Senate.”

CBP collects more than $30 billion in revenue annually, making it the second largest revenue generator for the US government, while 42 percent of all duties, more than $12 billion, are collected by CBP from textile imports.

The TESA legislation addresses many of these key concerns by providing US Customs with expanded authority to better target these goods, while also giving them additional tools and resources to increase their commercial enforcement efforts and reduce the prevalence of fraud that is occurring and damaging the US textile industry sector.

The bill includes provisions that would:
• Increase the number of trained import specialists in textile and apparel verifications at the 15 largest US ports.
• Mandate the government publish names of companies that intentionally violate the rules of trade agreements.
• Allow Dept. of Homeland Security and Dept. of Treasury to use amounts from the fines and penalties collected to pay for expenses directly related to investigations and/or training.
• Instruct the US government to establish an electronic verification program that tracks yarn and fabric inputs in free trade agreement countries.