Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202) 224-4515
Hatch, Wyden Applaud Senate Passage of Bill to Assist American Manufacturers
Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill Heads to the President’s Desk to Be Signed into Law
WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today applauded Senate passage of their bipartisan legislation, the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016, and issued the following statements:
“We need to ensure that American job-creators can compete successfully in today’s 21st century global economy,” said Hatch. “This legislation helps American manufacturers level the playing field through tariff relief which lowers production costs on parts that simply can’t be found here at home. While long-overdue, this legislation represents a true bipartisan, bicameral commitment to helping our economy with more jobs, bigger paychecks, and a stronger American manufacturing base.”
“As I will say again and again and again, Congress needs to do everything possible to help American manufacturers be as competitive as possible in the global marketplace,” Wyden said. “Today’s passage of the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, which will cut import taxes that U.S. manufactures pay, is critical for American manufacturing, American jobs, and the American economy.”
American manufacturers across the country often depend on specialized imported products to complete the development of American-made goods. In the past, when the imported product was subject to a tariff, companies often could apply for a temporary suspension or reduction of that tariff to minimize production costs and stay competitive in the global market.
Past practice required an American firms to ask a member of Congress to sponsor its request for a temporary tariff reduction or suspension. After a thorough vetting process, the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees would draft legislation known as a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) and put into law the agreed-upon tariff reductions or suspensions. The program, in this form, lapsed in 2012.
The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 advances the process by allowing American companies to apply directly to the nonpartisan International Trade Commission (ITC) for tariff relief in conformity with MTB rules – including that there is no domestic production. The ITC will examine each individual request and submit its recommendations to the Congress. The Congress then will develop MTB legislation to be enacted into law. By eliminating Member initiation of individual duty suspension or reduction requests, the legislation is consistent with Senate and House Rules.
The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the measure by a vote of 415-2. The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 cleared the Senate this evening by unanimous consent and will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.
A copy of the bill text can be found here.
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