On September 13, 2018, the President signed the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-239), an act that provided temporary tariff suspensions and reductions on more than 1,600 products until December 31, 2020. This legislation followed a process enacted in the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 (AMCA, P.L. 114-159). The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is preparing a new round of tariff suspension petitions to begin no later than October 15, 2019, as also provided for in the AMCA.
What Are MTBs? Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTBs) aim to temporarily suspend or reduce tariffs on certain imported products (called duty suspensions). In order to be considered for inclusion in an MTB, proposed individual duty suspensions must be noncontroversial (e.g., no domestic producer or Member objects); revenue-neutral (forgone tariff revenues of no more than $500,000 per product); and administrable by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Debate. Many in Congress support MTBs as a relatively low-cost method of providing a competitive edge to U.S. businesses by reducing tariffs on chemicals and other inputs used to manufacture downstream products, thus making end-use products more affordable to consumers. However, the former process by which MTBs were originally assembled was controversial because it involved constituents asking individual Members to introduce duty suspension bills to benefit a constituent’s company.
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