Manufacturers press for passage of tariff suspension bill

"It is currently 20 percent more expensive to manufacture in the United States compared to our major trading partners, and failure to pass the MTB will only add to those costs."

Congress has been working on the bill for most of this year and is aiming to wrap up work soon. 

“The MTB is a critical component in supporting U.S. manufacturers, the workers they employ and the products they make," a House Ways and Means Committee spokesperson told The Hill. 

"We are in the final stages of drafting the package and, once it is complete, we hope that Congress will take up this bill to lower the cost of manufacturing in the United States.”

A separate report on Monday showed that the manufacturing industry contracted in November mostly due to a concern over the scheduled expiration of tax breaks and implementation of spending cuts. 

All told, nearly 2,100 bills have been introduced in the House and Senate. Existing duty suspensions on more than 600 products are set to expire at the end of the year, according to NAM.

"The MTB is one of the most important short-term actions Congress can take to preserve and expand good American jobs, boost America's manufacturing competitiveness, and increase our manufacturing exports," the letter said. 

"Our economy cannot afford the prospect of yet another tax increase on manufacturing."

On Friday, the Obama administration announced that it had lifted its opposition to eight MTBs on certain specialty outdoor footwear products, which outdoor business groups say would create $30 million in savings that is redirected toward jobs and investments. 

The eight bills affect specialty footwear products that represent 30 percent of all outdoor specialty sales.

"This is a major victory for the outdoor industry and also for our consumers," said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and chief executive of the Outdoor Industry Association

"The administration’s new position will help ensure stable retail prices on these leading outdoor products and keep them more affordable for American families."