Calling on Biden administration to close trade loophole


We know what a problem unfair foreign competition is – particularly by countries like China, where companies are always finding new ways to cheat.

One current loophole allows these companies – along with drug traffickers – to evade U.S. taxes, fees, and inspections when packages are worth less than $800. It’s known as the “de minimis” loophole.

Here’s how it works: these companies split shipments into many small packages in order to cheat their way out of the duties they owe, and drug traffickers send deadly drugs like fentanyl into our country without detection, because these smaller packages don’t have to go through screenings and inspections.

Last year, I introduced legislation to put a stop to this. And since then, the problem has only gotten worse. Last year, more than two million shipments took advantage of this loophole every day. Now, it’s more than three million packages per day.

We can’t wait to pass legislation. We need immediate executive action to close this loophole. That’s why I joined with U.S. Senator Rick Scott, R-FL, to call on President Biden to close this dangerous loophole. The president has the authority to put an end to trade abusers taking advantage of the “de minimis” loophole now.

The American textile industry and its workers pay the price when these companies are able to abuse our trade laws at such an alarming rate. And the dangers of this massive loophole extend beyond the threat of unfair foreign competition.

Fentanyl is killing too many Ohioans, and drug traffickers are also exploiting the “de minimis” loophole to send deadly drugs like fentanyl into our country without any detection. We need to use every tool available to keep fentanyl out and protect our communities. Closing this loophole is a powerful way to do that.

Every day we wait to close this loophole, we risk American jobs, and we allow millions of packages into our country with no way of knowing if they contain fentanyl.

We need action now.

Sherrod Brown is the senior U.S. senator from Ohio.

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