KEY VOTE in U.S. Senate: Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R. 644), Conference Report

By at 10 February, 2016, 8:40 am

UPDATE: After invoking cloture on the morning of February 11 by a vote of 73-22, the Senate voted 75-20 to pass H. R. 644, the Customs conference report which includes the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act.  President Obama signed the legislation shortly thereafter.



Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Support Customs Modernization and Permanent Internet Tax Freedom


Dear Member of the United States Senate:

On behalf of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council and our 100,000 members nationwide, I urge a YES vote on cloture to the conference report authorizing U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which includes important modernization and trade enforcement provisions and makes permanent the moratorium on Internet taxation.

The enforcement and IP protections in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 conference report (H.R. 644) will foster a fair and more certain playing field for small businesses and encourage global expansion. The legislation modernizes systems and procedures, which means it will be less costly and complex for small businesses to operate globally. Increasing de minimis thresholds to eliminate unnecessary paperwork, for example, along with other reforms are key changes that will benefit small firms.

The long-overdue step of making permanent the ban on Internet taxes will protect and preserve a critical ecosystem that has bolstered entrepreneurship and allowed small businesses to operate more effectively. The Internet drives innovation and productivity, and access is essential to market products and services, communicate with customers, purchase supplies and operate businesses efficiently. Internet access and discriminatory taxes would have harmful effects, slow economic growth and dampen investment.

This Congress can make history and make permanent longstanding bipartisan policy that has helped to make the Internet a critical tool for growth, productivity, innovation, and improving the quality of life for Americans. A permanent ban on Internet taxation will help build on this incredible success.

Please vote for this important conference report, which will be scored as a KEY VOTE in SBE Council’s Rankings for the 114th Congress. Thank you for your support of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.


Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO


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