Bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduces tariff bill

Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced a measure on Wednesday that would jump-start a long-delayed overhaul of tariffs that would cut costs for manufacturers. 

Led by four House Ways and Means Committees members — Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), ranking member Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Trade Subcommittee ranking member Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) — the bill would implement a new miscellaneous tariff bill (MTB) process that would lower or eliminate tariffs hundreds of imported production components that are not made in the United States.

{mosads}”This bipartisan bill will empower American manufacturers to compete around the world, create new jobs at home and grow our economy,” Brady said.

“We’ve also made sure that the new process strictly upholds our earmark ban and that the American people are involved in every step along the way,” he said.

Brady said he hopes to move the bill through the panel very soon. The trade subcommittee is slated to hold a hearing on the issue Thursday afternoon.

“The MTB is a critical tool that supports American manufacturers and workers, and I’m pleased that we’re finally moving forward with this legislation,” Levin said.  

“As global conditions in many manufacturing industries continue to toughen, Congress must pass this commonsense legislation,” he said.

Since the last MTB expired in 2012, U.S. companies have faced an annual $748 million tax hike on manufacturing resulting in nearly $1.9 billion losses to the economy.

“Our bill creates a new process for consideration of manufacturing tax cuts that will lower costs and create more jobs at home while fully complying with our strong ban against earmarks,” Reichert said.

The bill outlines a three-step process to get approval for tariff relief. 

First, U.S. businesses would send their requests to the International Trade Commission (ITC). After the ITC receives petitions, an independent panel would analyze the request based on comments from the public and the administration.

Second, the ITC would issue a public report to Congress with its analysis and recommendations regarding products that meet the MTB standards, including the lack of domestic production.

Third, the Ways and Means Committee would examine the ITC’s recommendations and draft a MTB proposal. The committee can exclude products from its final proposal but it cannot add products that were not recommended.

As required by House rules, Ways and Means would certify that there are no spending earmarks and would publish a list. Congress would then consider the MTB within existing rules.

“This bill creates a new process for the consideration of MTBs that the entire Congress can support and builds on the transparency demonstrated during previous approvals of MTB legislation,” Rangel said.

“In doing so, I expect this bill to receive the bipartisan support that the MTB has always had, and for good reason — the MTB provides much-needed assistance to our domestic manufacturers.”

Another 15 additional lawmakers have signed onto the bill — Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Mark Walker (R-N.C.), Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Brendan Doyle (D-Pa.), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), and Rod Blum (R-Iowa).

Tags Dave Reichert Earl Blumenauer Kevin Brady Sander Levin Tariffs. House Ways and Means Committee
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