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Major Industry Associations Urge Immediate Senate Action on the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill
Date: 5/20/2009
Written By: Patrick C. Costello, Manufacturing Tariff Bill Coalition, (202) 872-8181

Washington, DC - The Manufacturing Tariff Bill Coalition was joined by several other major business groups in transmitting a letter to the Senate Finance Committee strongly urging them to begin their work on the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB). The MTB provides critical duty relief to U.S. manufacturers by removing tariffs on vital production inputs that have no competitive products or domestic suppliers within the U.S. Economy.

In a letter transmitted to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee as well as the Senate Majority and Republican leaders, the Manufacturing Tariff Bill Coalition urged for swift action on the MTB, stating: “At a time of economic turmoil, American manufacturers cannot afford higher costs resulting from an outdated tariff code. Therefore, it is essential that the Senate Finance Committee move promptly to commence the process of consideration of the next MTB.” The letter further stated that the House Ways and Means Committee is currently drafting a bill with a markup anticipated in the near future.

Since the early 1980s, the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees have incorporated temporary duty suspensions into larger pieces of legislation known as miscellaneous tariff bills (MTBs). The last MTB legislation was passed during the 109th Congress and included temporary duty suspension on approximately 680 products until December 31, 2009. During the 110th Congress, duty suspensions on roughly 800 products were introduced in the House, but MTB legisla¬tion did not pass before Congress adjourned. Extending existing duty suspensions and enacting new legislation in the first session of the 111th Congress would help ease some of the economic difficulties facing U.S. manufacturers. It is imperative that Congress act expeditiously to pass an MTB to ensure the vitality and competitiveness of American manufacturers.

The Manufacturing Tariff Bill Coalition was joined on this letter by the American Chemistry Council, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable, the Emergency Committee For American Trade, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the National Foreign Trade Council.