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Express Shippers, NAM, Chamber Oppose Removing China From de Minimis

Thirteen groups that represent business interests told House leaders that they strongly oppose the changes to de minimis in the trade title of the America Competes Act, the House answer to the Senate China bill that passed last year.

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The letter, signed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Foreign Trade Council, the Express Association of America and others, tells them that with inflation at the highest level in more than 30 years "the last thing American entrepreneurs need is a new de facto tax on small purchases." The "restrictions on the use of de minimis would be the wrong policy at the wrong time, as the increased tariffs would be passed on directly to consumers and immediately worsen the inflation rate. It has been estimated that a $50 imported good that is currently entering as de minimis could cost as much as $110 if the bill passes (given the added broker fee, normal customs duty, Section 301 25% duty, and merchandise processing fee)."

The groups said that they understand Congress is interested in addressing "enforcement challenges posed by bad actors and those misusing de minimis, but this proposal will only exacerbate such challenges. If enacted, it is likely we will see more illicit and non-compliant trade moving to less scrutinized modes of shipment like the postal environment, where inadequate enforcement of the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act of 2018 (STOP Act) provides CBP with less information on incoming shipments."

They recommend that the STOP Act be fully implemented, and that Congress wait for the results of the CBP Section 321 pilot program before passing any bills on the topic.