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.
 
Because the Senate amended the legislation, it will need to bounce back to and be passed again by the House — which left town on Thursday until September — before it can head to President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE's desk. 
 
“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 HatchThe FDA crackdown on dietary supplements is inadequate Orrin Hatch Foundation seeking million in taxpayer money to fund new center in his honor Mitch McConnell has shown the nation his version of power grab MORE (R-Utah), the chairman of the Finance Committee, said in a statement.  
 
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Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Top Dems call for end to Medicaid work rules | Chamber launching ad blitz against Trump drug plan | Google offers help to dispose of opioids Top Dems call for end to Medicaid work rules after 18,000 lose coverage in Arkansas Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Drug pricing fight centers on insulin | Florida governor working with Trump to import cheaper drugs | Dems blast proposed ObamaCare changes 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.