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TPP Question and Answer: Customs

As part of USTR's Open Government Flagship Initiative, has been collecting comments and questions from the American public to be answered this week regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership. USTR thanks all those who have sent in questions and comments. The comments have been passed along to the TPP negotiators.

Today we have a question from Charles in New York:

“Research consistently shows that a significant barrier to increased international trade by small businesses is the opaque and expensive problem of Customs procedures, documentation and duties. Outbound USPS parcel traffic in this region has increased in the last few years as more companies sell to other small businesses and directly to consumers. More companies would do so if procedures were less opaque and there was government assistance to make things simpler. What will the Administration do to help make the export/import process via the Posts and express carriers faster, cheaper and easier for small business?”

USTR: “We plan to address the customs-related issues you have identified as part of customs cooperation group of the TPP negotiations. In keeping with our objective to make the TPP a 21st century agreement, we plan to discuss ways that we could further facilitate international trade and increase the transparency of customs procedures, including for outbound and express shipments.”