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WASHINGTON — Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), alongside Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), signed H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, legislation designed to update the nation’s customs laws to level the playing field for American workers. Below are Speaker Ryan’s remarks as delivered during the ceremony:

“Well first of all, thank you everybody for coming. This bill will update our customs laws, so that American workers can compete on a level playing field with the rest of the world. This is a bill that was a long time coming.

“We all know that American workers are second to none. But no one can thrive in a lawless environment. No one can get ahead if other countries steal our ideas or undercut our manufacturers.

“We will give our customs and border officials the tools that they need to expand American trade—and to keep out frauds and cheats. That will create more good-paying jobs right here in America.

“I want to applaud [Ways and Means Committee] Chairman Kevin Brady, Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert for their fine work on this bill.

“In addition to Ways and Means members, there are others who really contributed to this bill. I want to congratulate Congressman Steve King on the immigration provisions, Candice Miller on the currency manipulation [provision], members of the Steel Caucus on the anti-dumping [provision], Mr. Sensenbrenner on his climate language.

“These were some tough negotiations. They took many months of hard work and even outlasted my chairmanship.

“All the more reason why our members should be taking pride in this fine achievement. This bill is first rate. And this bill is the result of a House-Senate conference report—which is again a testament to how we’re returning to regular order around here.

“So I want to commend all these members of Congress for their endurance, for this commitment to get back to regular order, and for upgrading and updating our customs and enforcement laws that have been high time to do so. These are important laws that are [the first] re-write in a generation. This is going to be about jobs, this is going to be about the rule of law, this is about putting the American worker and manufacturer first. And I’m very proud to be a part of this—now I will sign this bill.”