Tariff Bill Passes US Congress

13.05.2016 -

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) has applauded the US Senate’s unanimous passage on May 10 of the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016. This bipartisan legislation, which has gone to President Barack Obama for his signature, would create a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) process to eliminate duty suspensions on inputs and other products that are not produced or available in the US but are crucial to manufacturing processes.

SOCMA President and CEO Lawrence D. Sloan said the process “will assist US chemical manufacturers in regaining their competiveness, investing in research and development efforts, and creating new jobs."

The bill took more than four years to get through Congress. Reports said the law update – called purely cosmetic by its critics –was derailed in 2012 by Republican Party infighting over whether duty suspensions constitute earmarks, and it remained off track until this week.

MTB 2016 will require a review of domestic availability, including public comments, by the non-partisan US International Trade Commission. Rather than continue to allow duty suspension requests from constituents directly to their representatives and senators, the legislation requires those requests to be made to the USITC, which will determine whether the statutory criteria are met.

After analyzing the legislation, ITC will issue a public report to Congress recommending certain products that meet these requirements.