By Brian Bradley / www.americanshipper.com / September 14th, 2018
Industry group says enactment of miscellaneous tariff bill will save U.S. manufacturers $1 million a day.
President Donald Trump on Thursday signed miscellaneous tariff bill (MTB) legislation, generating praise from industry groups.
“With the apparel and footwear industry representing 6 percent of all imports to the U.S. but currently paying 51 percent of the duties collected by the U.S. government, this relief is much needed,” American Apparel & Footwear Association CEO Rick Helfenbein said in a statement. “These savings will ultimately be used to invest in America’s workforce, product innovation and reduce prices for American consumers.”
Broadly speaking, the legislation amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule to provide duty suspensions and reductions for specified chemicals and other items through Dec. 31, 2020.
The House passed the legislation via suspension of the rules on Sept. 4. The Senate passed the legislation by unanimous consent on July 26.
After an initial version of the legislation passed the House in January, the Senate version removed language that would have eliminated or reduced tariffs on electric commercial vehicles, cabs and bodies for electric vehicles, collapsible insulated food and beverage bags, rotary hand-cutting tools, full tang knives, propagaryl butycarbamate and esfenvalerate.
The law also expands descriptions of certain types of footwear included in the January-passed legislation to distinguish between similar products that would not be covered by tariff reductions.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, also were among those who applauded Trump’s signing.
“I want to applaud President Trump for signing this much-needed tax relief for America’s workers and job creators into law,” Brady said in a statement. “After nearly eight years of hard work, we now have relief for our companies on products otherwise not made in America, allowing them to grow jobs here at home.”
The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, signed into law in May 2016, updated the process for compiling MTBs and brought the process into compliance with House earmark rules, which had hampered efforts to pass any previous MTBs since the last one expired on Dec. 31, 2012.
NAM CEO Jay Timmons said enactment of the MTB will save U.S. manufacturers and other businesses $1 million per day, and that it will help U.S. manufacturers compete with companies in China, Europe and elsewhere.
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