GAO report says $2.3B in trade cheating duties won’t be collected

There are existing laws to address some trade cheating – such as unlawful subsidization of exports – by importers and foreign trade rivals. Antidumping and countervailing duties are imposed when trade cheating is found.  The Customs and Border Protection agency is supposed to collect those duties.  But they often do not.  A July 2016 report by the Government Accountability Office shows that importers evade those duties.
Here is the summary: GAO estimates that about $2.3 billion in antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CV) duties owed to the U.S. government were uncollected as of mid-May 2015, based on its analysis of AD/CV duty bills for goods entering the United States in fiscal years 2001–2014. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported that it does not expect to collect most of that debt. GAO found that most AD/CV duty bills were paid and that unpaid bills were concentrated among a small number of importers, with 20 accounting for about 50 percent of the $2.3 billion uncollected. CBP data show that most of those importers stopped importing before receiving their first AD/CV duty bill. As GAO has previously reported, the U.S. AD/CV duty system involves the retrospective assessment of duties, such that the final amount of AD/CV duties an importer owes can significantly exceed the initial amount paid at the estimated duty rate when the goods entered the country.

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