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Reichert Opening Statement at Hearing on The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill: Providing Relief to U.S. Manufacturers Through the New MTB Process

October 25, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) today delivered the following opening statement at a Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Hearing on The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill: Providing Relief to U.S. Manufacturers Through the New MTB Process.”

CLICK HERE to watch the hearing.

Remarks as delivered:

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

“For decades, Congress has considered bipartisan legislation to temporarily suspend or reduce tariffs on certain imported products not made in the United States through legislation that has become known as the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill or “MTB.”  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.  Many companies in my home state of Washington have relied on the MTB, and I know that many of my colleagues have similar stories from their districts.

“Our manufacturers have used the savings from 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 the last MTB expired in 2012 and left American manufacturers without a process to help them cut costs.  This undermined the ability of our manufacturers to provide more domestic jobs and damaged their global competitiveness.

“Last year, Congress took action and passed overwhelmingly bipartisan legislation to create a new and transparent process for providing tariff relief to U.S. businesses and consumers.  Under the new MTB process, companies petition the independent, non-partisan International Trade Commission—not individual Members of Congress—for tariff relief.  The new process is open and transparent, and establishes an opportunity for public comment.  It provides predictability for our businesses while complying with House rules. 

“The ITC kicked off the new MTB process last October, launching a new, publicly accessible portal for the filing of petitions and public comments.  This August, after lengthy analysis, the ITC provided its final recommendations to Congress on more than 2,500 petitions.  Of those, the ITC has recommended that more than 1,800 petitions be included in MTB legislation. 

“I commend the ITC for its tremendous effort and dedication in successfully bringing the new MTB process to life.  And I thank the Commerce Department and Customs and Border Protection as well for its invaluable work.

“Now, Congress must act to consider an MTB bill and deliver long-awaited tariff relief to our manufacturers.  The Committee is doing its part by reviewing the ITC’s final report and preparing legislation to implement the ITC’s recommendations. 

“I am eager to hear from our witnesses today about how tariff relief provided through the new process will benefit their businesses, make them more competitive, create jobs, and grow our economy.     

“I will now yield to Ranking Member Pascrell for the purpose of an opening statement.”