Levin and Herger Announce Request for Written Comments on Miscellaneous Tariff

Feb 25, 2008
Press Release

Chairman Sander M. Levin (D-MI) and Ranking Member Wally Herger (R-CA) of the Subcommittee on Trade today jointly announced that the Subcommittee is requesting written comments for the record from all parties interested in miscellaneous duty suspension proposals and corrections to the trade laws.   

BACKGROUND:

The Committee on Ways and Means has jurisdiction over legislation to amend the U.S. tariff schedule and to make corrections to trade legislation.  The primary purpose of the bill is to help U.S. manufacturers compete at home and abroad by temporarily suspending or reducing duties on intermediate products or materials that are not made domestically, or where there is no domestic opposition.  Such reductions or suspensions reduce the costs for U.S. businesses and ultimately increase the competitiveness of their products.  The process will look carefully for domestic production and opposition to proposed modifications to the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

On November 1, 2007, Chairman Levin and Ranking Member Herger requested that all Members who planned to introduce tariff legislation or miscellaneous corrections to the trade laws do so by December 14, 2007.  Chairman Levin and Ranking Member Herger are now requesting public comment on those bills listed below and are requesting budget scoring estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.  The deadline for the public to submit written comments to the Committee is Thursday, April 10, 2008.  After the comment period, the Subcommittee will review all comments and determine which bills should be included in a miscellaneous tariff bill (MTB) package.  The Subcommittee will consider the extent to which the bills create a revenue loss, operate retroactively, attract controversy, or are not administrable.

DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT REMINDER AND NOTICE OF DEADLINES:

The Rules of the House of Representatives of the 110th Congress require that Members provide a written disclosure statement to the Ways and Means Committee Chairman and Ranking Member for any bill that contains a limited tariff benefit, which is defined as a provision modifying the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States in a manner that benefits 10 or fewer entities.   See Rules XXI and XXIII.  The Committee is required to maintain these written disclosures and make them open for public inspection for limited tariff benefits that are included in any measure reported by the Committee, a measure voted on without Committee consideration but referred to the Committee, or any conference report filed by the Committee or any subcommittee thereof.

Deadline for Submitting Disclosures in General.  The deadline for submitting the Standard Disclosure Letter and Limited Tariff Benefit Disclosure Form (where applicable) is Thursday, April 10, 2008.  By no later than this date, Members are required to provide the Subcommittee with at least one of the following: (1) a statement certifying that the Member is not required to submit a disclosure statement because the bill does not contain a limited tariff benefit; (2) a statement certifying that the Member’s bill does contain a limited tariff benefit and a completed disclosure form; or (3) a statement certifying that the Member does not know whether the bill contains a limited tariff benefit, and as such is deferring submission of the disclosure form until additional information is available. 

The Subcommittee notes that if a Member certifies either (1) that a bill does not contain a limited tariff benefit, or (2) that a Member does not know whether a bill contains a limited tariff benefit, then that Member must provide the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) with a list of beneficiaries for factual verification.  To avoid delays in the MTB process and enable the ITC to complete the verification in a timely manner, Members must provide such a list to the ITC by no later than Thursday, April 10, 2008

Deadline for Amending Deferred Disclosures.  For Members who have deferred filing a submission until additional information is available (option three above), the deadline to submit an updated disclosure is one week after the end of the public comment period (April 17, 2008), or one week after the ITC reports to the Member office the names and numbers of verified beneficiaries, whichever is later.  The amended disclosure must either (1) confirm that the bill contains a limited tariff benefit and provide the required disclosure information; or (2) affirmatively state that the bill does not contain a limited tariff benefit.

Failure to provide the Subcommittee with a standard letter and disclosure form (where applicable), or failure to amend a deferred disclosure will disqualify an otherwise eligible bill from inclusion in the MTB. 

For specific instructions and guidance regarding compliance with the limited tariff benefit disclosure requirement, please see the process sheet entitled Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) Process located here.

Click here to view and print the Standard Disclosure Cover Letter and Limited Tariff Benefit Disclosure Form

DETAILS FOR SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN COMMENTS:

Please Note:  Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit written comments for the record must follow the appropriate link on the hearing page of the Committee website and complete the informational forms.  From the Committee homepage, (https://democrats.waysandmeans.house.gov), select “110th Congress” from the menu entitled “Committee Hearings.”  Select the request for written comments for which you would like to submit, and click on the link entitled, “Click here to provide a submission for the record.”  Follow the online instructions carefully and note deadlines for submissions located in this advisory. Finally, please note that due to the change in House mail policy, the U.S. Capitol Police will refuse sealed-package deliveries to all House Office Buildings. 

FORMATTING REQUIREMENTS:

The Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record.  As always, submissions will be included in the record according to the discretion of the Committee.  The Committee will not alter the content of your submission, but we reserve the right to format it according to our guidelines.  Any submission provided to the Committee by a witness, any supplementary materials submitted for the printed record, and any written comments in response to a request for written comments must conform to the guidelines listed below.  Any submission or supplementary item not in compliance with these guidelines will not be printed, but will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee. 

1. All submissions and supplementary materials must be provided in PDF format and MUST NOT exceed a total of 10 pages, including attachments.  Witnesses and submitters are advised that the Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record.

The Committee seeks to make its facilities accessible to persons with disabilities. If you are in need of special accommodations, please call 202-225-1721 or 202-226-3411 TTD/TTY in advance of the event (four business days notice is requested). Questions with regard to special accommodation needs in general (including availability of Committee materials in alternative formats) may be directed to the Committee as noted above.