March 11,2002

Finance Committee Collects Miscellaneous Tariff and Duty Suspension Bills

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today sent a letter to colleagues seeking trade and tariff legislation for inclusion in their miscellaneous trade bills. Legislation must be introduced by April 12, 2002, for consideration.

A copy of that letter follows:

Dear Colleague:

Every Congress, the Committee on Finance seeks to report out legislation to provide for temporary suspensions of duties on certain products and to make minor technical changes to the trade laws. We are writing today to notify you that we are beginning the process of assembling this legislationfor the 107th Congress.

The staff of the Committee on Finance is now starting the process of reviewing measures for possible inclusion in that legislation. To ensure that the Committee has sufficient time to evaluate and markup this legislation for consideration and passage by the Senate during this session, all legislation that Senators wish to have considered in this process must be introduced by Friday, April 12, 2002.

The process of evaluating bills for possible inclusion in the legislation will follow the same procedures as in previous years. After collecting and reviewing these bills, the Finance Committee will request public comment to determine if there is opposition to any measure. In addition, the Committee will solicit comments on each measure from the Administration (including the Office of the United StatesTrade Representative, the United States Customs Service, and the Department of Commerce) and from the United States International Trade Commission. The Committee will consult with the Congressional Budget Office to ensure that there is no significant revenue loss associated with any measure in the legislation. Please feel free to consult with any of these agencies, and the Senate Legislative Counsel, forany advice prior to introduction of your bill.

The objective of the review procedure is to ensure that this legislation can be passed by the unanimous consent of the Senate and that it requires minimal revenue offsets. Therefore, measures that create significant revenue losses, operate retroactively, suspend the duty on a product that is made domestically, or otherwise attract significant opposition will not be included in the legislation.

If you have any questions, please have a member of your staff contact Andrew Harig, of the Finance Committee majority staff, at 4-6769 or Carrie Clark, of the Finance Committee minority staff, at 4-4678. Thank you in advance for your cooperation on this matter.


Max Baucus 

Charles E. Grassley
Ranking Member