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Datamyne Blog

Covering trade & transport, with tips on using import-export data to advantage

Sizing up the Senate DHS Budget Bill

Category: Trade Policy

Border security trumps trade facilitation in proposed homeland security budget appropriations | by Peter Quinter, guest columnist.

In the proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget approved by the US Senate Appropriations Committee on July 18, 2013, “Big Government” is going to get even bigger. The US Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will get about $12.5 billion. Yes, that’s billion dollars.

For those people screaming for more “border security” to stop illegal immigration into the US and to remove illegal aliens already in the US, there is plenty to be happy about: More and higher fences, more drones conducting surveillance, and more Border Patrol officers are expected on the Southwest border with Mexico.

For those of us more interested in the commercial aspects of the Homeland Security Department funding bill, here is what I think is important:

First, CBP’s trusted traveler program (i.e., Global Entry) gets about $30 million, a huge increase. Readers who follow me on this blog know I have been a long-time and fervent supporter of CBP’s Global Entry Program. [See, e.g., Skip the Long Lines.] Global Entry needs to be drastically expanded as it is currently extremely selective so that anyone with any kind of questionable background is eliminated.

Second, there is increased emphasis on commercial trade enforcement, particularly:

  • stopping counterfeit merchandise from entering the US;
  • stopping transshipped or misclassified merchandise from entering the US in order to attempt to evade the payment of antidumping and/or countervailing duties to CBP; and
  • food and consumer good import safety.

From discussions on Capitol Hill, based on number of personnel and budget allocations, it appears to this author that the balance between “border security” and “trade facilitation” is still very much in favor of border security.

You can read a summary of the Senate DHS appropriations bill here.

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New Guidance on Medical Device User Fees:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just issued Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff and Foreign Governments: FY 2014 Medical Device User Fee Small Business Qualification and Certification. User fees must be paid for most types of medical device applications. A business that is qualified (no more than $100 million in annual sales) and certified as a “small business” is eligible for a substantial reduction in most of these user fees. The process for requesting qualification and certification as a small business is described in this FDA guidance, available in pdf here.

* * *

Copyright © 2013 GrayRobinson

A version of this column originally appeared in the GrayRobinson Customs and International Law Blog, which is edited by Peter Quinter and covers a range of legal and regulatory issues related to trade. Subscribe at http://www.grcustomslaw.com/

About Peter Quinter

Peter Quinter, GrayRobinsonThe Datamyne Blog’s legal contributor is a shareholder in GrayRobinson’s Miami and Ft. Lauderdale offices, chair of the Customs & International Trade Law Group. Appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to the Florida District Export Council, Quinter is a recognized expert in international and trade law: Florida Trend magazine ranks Quinter among its “Legal Elite” in International Law; he is listed in “Best Lawyers in America” in the area of FDA Law.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of its author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views or Descartes Datamyne. In addition, this article is for general information purposes only and it’s not intended to provide legal advice or opinions of any kind and my not be used for professional or commercial purposes. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely on this article without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice.

Date posted: August 28, 2013

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