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Ways and Means Committee Leaders Introduce Bipartisan Tariff Relief Legislation

January 01, 2013

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim McDermott (D-WA) announced the introduction of the “U.S. Job Creation and Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2013” (H.R. 6727).  The bipartisan legislation provides temporary tax relief to help U.S. manufacturers better compete, expand, and create jobs.   This broadly-supported legislation lowers the cost of manufacturing inputs and some finished products not made or available here in the United States. 

The package includes provisions from more than 2,000 bills introduced in the House and Senate during the transparent Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) process.

Commenting on the legislation Chairman Camp said, “This legislation reflects a transparent, bipartisan effort to lower costs for U.S. manufacturers.  The bill has broad support, and it has received extensive public comment.  I look forward to working with the nearly 170 House Members and Senators who identified the needs of job-creators in their communities to move this much-needed relief as quickly as possible.”

Ranking Member Levin (D-MI) stated, “The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill helps make U.S. manufacturers more competitive in the global market by reducing input costs.  This bill has undergone an extensive vetting process with input from the administration, the International Trade Commission, and the public.  By introducing this bill today we are advancing this process.”

Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Brady said, “The MTB is a jobs bill, pure and simple.  Suspending duties temporarily on products such as manufacturing inputs is an essential step in helping to make U.S. manufacturers more competitive and creating U.S. jobs.  The MTB is an urgent matter for Chairman Camp and me, and we look forward to working with our House and Senate colleagues to ensure that we can get this bipartisan, bicameral tax relief bill over the finish line.”

Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim McDermott (D-WA) added, “This bill has undergone one of the most extensive, open and transparent legislative processes around.  Many of our manufacturers, and the workers they employ, will benefit from this bill.   And I hope our bipartisan action on this trade bill today is a harbinger of things to come on the trade agenda in 2013.”

The MTB is a bipartisan, bicameral process developed over nearly 30 years and, through improvements made this and last Congress, is a model of transparency.  On March 30, the Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee simultaneously commenced the 112th Congress MTB process and invited Members to introduce temporary miscellaneous tariff bills for consideration and inclusion in the MTB legislation.  Consistent with the Committee’s MTB guidance, Members were required to submit public disclosures noting whether the benefits are broadly available and whether any Member/spouse has a financial interest.  Importantly, the Committee’s guidance required each bill to be non-controversial: if a domestic manufacturer or Member objected to a bill, it was eliminated. The bills were scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and were required to be under $500,000 per year.  Nearly 170 House Members and Senators submitted more than 2,000 MTBs to be considered through the bipartisan, bicameral MTB process. 

To ensure the highest degree of transparency, each of those individual bills was reviewed, by the Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, the independent International Trade Commission, and the Department of Commerce, which spearheads the review of the submitted bills for the Administration.  The Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee also solicited public comments on the submitted bills. 

Bills meeting the requirements of this rigorous process were compiled into a single bill.  All documents pertaining to the MTB process can be found here on the Ways and Means Committee website.