Skip to content

NAM Supports Transparent Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Process

April 26, 2012

The article “Freshman: Bring back earmarks” (POLITICO, April 23) inaccurately characterizes the miscellaneous tariff bill process and its classification as an earmark. The MTB is actually a bipartisan jobs bill that will prevent a tax increase on manufacturers in the U.S. and help us compete with our global competition.

This bill provides for a duty suspension for the import of materials essential to manufacturing products but unavailable from any domestic source. These duties raise costs of manufacturing in the U.S. and undermine economic growth.

The facts are clear that the MTB is not an earmark or a “limited tariff benefit.” If elimination were limited only to designated importers, the MTB might be considered a “limited tariff benefit” — but it is not. The duty suspension is available to all importers of a particular product.

Moreover, the MTB process is transparent. Each proposed suspension undergoes a thorough non-partisan vetting process that involves several federal agencies, and also a public comment period.

Organizations like Americans for Tax Reform agree that MTBs don’t amount to an earmark or a limited tariff benefit. And, as Politico reported, 65 fiscally conservative freshman House members also agree that the MTB is not an earmark.

The bottom line is that failure to act could needlessly raise U.S. production costs. The MTB passed by the last Congress supported an estimated 90,000 jobs. Congress needs to act now to help level the playing field, allowing manufacturers in the compete globally.

Frank Vargo

Vice President of International Economic Affairs

National Association of Manufacturers