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HEARING: Chairman Reichert Opening Statement at Hearing on Miscellaneous Tariff Bill: Helping Manufacturers through Tax Cuts

April 14, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) today delivered the following opening statement at a hearing entitled “Miscellaneous Tariff Bill: Helping Manufacturers through Tax Cuts.”

Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Good afternoon. The Subcommittee will come to order. Welcome to the Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill. Before hearing from our witnesses, I’d like to make a few points.

“Since 1982, Congress has considered bipartisan legislation to temporarily suspend or reduce tariffs on certain imported products and make technical corrections to U.S. tariff laws through legislation known as the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill. The MTB is designed to boost the competitiveness of American manufacturers by lowering the cost of imported inputs and in some cases, finished goods, without harming domestic firms that produce competing products. Our manufacturers have used the savings from our past MTBs to strengthen their competitive edge, support the creation of domestic manufacturing jobs, increase U.S. production, and contribute to the economic growth of the United States.

“But since the last MTB expired in 2012, American manufacturers of all sizes have been hurt because there is no process in place to cut their costs and help them compete. Beyond dollars, the expiration of the MTB has cost our manufacturers domestic jobs and undermined their competitiveness. We owe it to our manufacturers and to the economic health of the United States to find a solution, and I believe we have.

“I am very pleased that Ranking Member Rangel and so many of our colleagues joined with Chairman Brady and me yesterday in introducing legislation to establish a bill to strengthen the MTB process. Our bill delivers a regular and predictable legislative process for the temporary suspension and reduction of tariffs that helps our manufacturers and their employees. And it also is consistent with the rules of the House, and upholds our strong ban against earmarks.

“The process will begin by having our companies petition the International Trade Commission – instead of having Members of Congress – introduce bills. It will be a model of transparency and the American people can see the whole process all the way through. And at the end, we will fully comply with the publication requirements in the House Rules.

“I am very pleased that our solution has such strong bipartisan and bicameral support and makes good on the commitment made by the conferees on the Customs bill to find such a solution.”