Senate passes tariff-relief bill

Senate passes tariff-relief bill
© Anna Moneymaker

The Senate cleared legislation on Thursday that would eliminate duties on imported raw materials used for production that aren’t readily available in the United States.

The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act, which passed the House in January, was approved by a voice vote as the chamber wrapped up its work for the week.
 
 
“This legislation will help American companies compete across the globe and create economic benefits for consumers by reducing trade barriers for American manufacturers that need products that are difficult to obtain in the United States,” Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah), the chairman of the Finance Committee, said in a statement.  
 
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Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenWyden blasts FEC Republicans for blocking probe into NRA over possible Russia donations Wyden calls for end to political ad targeting on Facebook, Google Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity MORE (D-Ore.) added that the bill was the product of a "bipartisan effort and an inter-agency process to boost the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers around the world.”

The bill comes as Trump's broader trade policies have rankled Republicans on Capitol Hill, who worry steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will roil the economy months before a midterm election. 

The tariff cuts included in Thursday's legislation, which initially expired roughly six years ago, are expected to save businesses millions of dollars a year while making them more globally competitive.

“This is a significant step forward for manufacturers, who, along with other businesses, are losing nearly $1 million every day until this bill becomes law," said Jay Timmons, the president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

He added that the House should "act quickly, pass the Senate version of the bill and get it to President Trump’s desk for his signature.” 
 
More than 200 business groups, led by NAM, had urged Congress to include the bill in March's omnibus spending package.