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How Chinese retailers can offer Americans steep bargains on clothes and why that could change

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The flow of millions of small parcels into the U.S. from China thanks to the explosive growth of online shopping has caught the attention of Congress. It casts a spotlight on a trade rule allowing parcels valued under $800 to enter the country duty-free. Lawmakers are questioning whether the rule allows manufacturers to avoid tariffs aimed at protecting American companies and to bypass laws barring the imports of illicit drugs or products made by forced labor. Supporters say the so-called de minimis exception helps keep down costs for American consumers and small businesses as online shopping goes global. Custom and Border Protection’s Chicago field office oversees one of the nation’s busiest ports for de minimis parcels.

Article Topic Follows: AP-National

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Associated Press


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