House passes tariff-relief bill

House passes tariff-relief bill
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The House on Tuesday easily passed a measure that would eliminate duties on imported raw materials used for production that aren’t readily available in the United States.

On a 402-0 vote, the House sent the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), which represents a sliver of this year’s trade agenda, to the Senate for action.

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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyLawmakers, businesses await guidance on tax law On The Money: Trump imposes B in tariffs on China | China blasts 'fickle' Trump, promises payback | Trump to name consumer bureau director next week Trump announces tariffs on billion in Chinese goods MORE (R-Texas), the bill's sponsor, said the measure will help manufacturers "better compete globally, create more jobs here at home, and make high-quality 'Made in America' products more affordable for families.”

The aim of the program, which expired five years ago, is expected to save businesses millions of dollars a year while making them more globally competitive.

The bill includes nearly 1,700 eligible petitions for the tariff break as reported by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which vetted applications for duty relief.

“While it may not make headlines, this is a top story and a big deal for manufacturers," said Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

"Manufacturers and other businesses face what amounts to a nearly $1 million-a-day tax every additional day this issue goes unresolved,” Timmons said.

He urged the Senate to take swift action on the bill and send the measure to the White House.

Lawmakers revamped the process of choosing what products would receive the tariff treatment to avoid any conflicts with a congressional rule that prohibits earmarks.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers estimate that the legislation would eliminate import tariffs of more than $1.1 billion over the next three years and boost U.S. manufacturing output by more than $3.1 billion.

NAM and the Chamber announced earlier on Tuesday that they planned a key-vote on the measure.

Congress has not passed an MTB since a 2010 law expired at the end of 2012.

In December, the NAM and nearly 200 business organizations urged Congress to expedite passage of the MTB measure.