MISCellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB)

Sensible Legislation to Help U.S. Manufacturers

Issue:

The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) is a compilation of hundreds of temporary product-specific duty reductions, the purpose of which is to help reduce input costs for U.S. manufacturers and increase competitiveness. Congress last passed a renewal of previous MTBs in August 2010. Those MTBs expired December 31, 2012, raising production costs for many U.S. manufacturers.

Background:

The MTB undisputedly helps U.S. manufacturers and promotes American competitiveness. The vast majority of MTB provisions reduce duties on inputs that are further processed in the United States, thereby supporting U.S. businesses and jobs. It is important to note that these duty reductions do not come at the expense of other U.S. manufacturers. Only bills that reduce duties on products where there is no U.S. production and where there is no opposition from U.S. manufacturers are eligible for consideration in the MTB.

For example, USIFI and NFI members have sought miscellaneous duty relief on various synthetic, acrylic and rayon staple fibers and yarns. In recent decades, production of these staple fibers has moved offshore, largely for environmental regulatory reasons. The failure of Congress to renew the MTB duty suspensions and reductions makes it more difficult for U.S. manufacturers using those inputs to compete in an intensely competitive global market.

Status:

Although language reforming the MTB process has been included in H.R. 644, the Customs reauthorization bill recently passed by the House and Senate, a path forward to enact an MTB in the 114th Congress has not yet been identified. Negotiations are still stuck in neutral with respect to a possible earmark perception problem. USIFI and NFI strongly believe the so-called earmark label for MTBs is unjustified. Unlike an appropriations earmark where funds are expended in a specific place, any producer in the United States using an input covered by an MTB can benefit from the duty reduction or suspension.

Action Item:

Please work with your respective tax writing committees and congressional leadership to move MTB legislation during this Congress. It is a critical cost reduction measure for many U.S. manufacturers, supporting domestic production and employment.