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Congressman Introduces Bill To Combat Textile Import Fraud

Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC) has introduced legislation in Congress designed to strengthen the governments ability to combat illegal textile transshipments, smuggling and other types of fraud. The bill would authorize increased staffing at the U.S. Customs Service that would enable that agency to improve its inspection and record-keeping ability. It also would increase penalties for fraud and reduce Customs ability to unilaterally reduce or waive penalties for illegal textile trade. Inspectors would be directed to spend more effort looking at container traffic, particularly goods going to Mexico and Canada under the governments "in transit program. There is not likely to be any action on the bill since Congress is in recess until Nov. 12 when it will return for a "lame duck" session. At that time, it will concentrate on appropriation bills and other high priority legislation. However, the bill is another expression of congressional interest in getting Customs to do a more effective job of policing illegal textile trade. October 2002