Renewal of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill to Benefit US Importers

A recently re-enacted law called the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), offers U.S. importers the opportunity to persuade the federal government that a raw material or intermediate product they bring into the country should be exempt from tariffs, according to the Journal of Commerce.

This law, which had not been in place since a previous version expired in 2012, allows manufacturers to request that the import tariff be temporarily removed on a product they import as long as there is no U.S.-based competitor. For a product to become exempt, the applicants must show that they will benefit by no more than $500,000 a year if the tariff is removed.

The law gives importers the first chance to apply for such exemption since the last application period under the earlier bill, in 2009.

Under the new law, which was signed by President Barack Obama in May, companies have 60 days from October 15th to petition the U.S. International Trade Commission to remove the tariff on a raw material or intermediate product. A second 60-day period in which companies can submit a petition will begin in the Fall of 2019.

The enactment ended a three-year standoff over the bill, during which its passage was blocked by gridlock in Congress and a ban on “earmarks,” or benefits for special interests, which some legislators believed could include the tariff removal.

The introduction of the new MTB process would help manufacturers remain competitive . “This legislation will help to level the playing field with competitors overseas who do not endure these punitive taxes,” as the CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers put it.

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