WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) today delivered the following speech on the House floor in support of H.R. 4923, the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016. The House overwhelmingly voted to pass the bill by a vote of 415 to 2.
“I’m honored to be here today to speak about the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016. This bipartisan bill will help our manufacturers – of all sizes – reduce costs, create jobs, and compete in the global market by creating a transparent process that is entirely consistent with House Rules.
“This legislation is formally called the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, or MTB for short. But it makes more sense to think of this as an MTB of another kind – legislation providing “Manufacturing Tax Breaks” – plain and simple.
“Before I begin to speak more specifically about what this bill does, I’d like to tell you why it is so essential for the success of our economy.
“Since 2012, American manufacturers have had to pay full tariffs – border taxes, in essence – for certain imported products not made in the U.S., unnecessarily increasing their costs. These tariffs have cost them $748 million annually, and there has been no opportunity for them to get relief from these taxes. These border taxes in turn have made it harder for them to sell their products, grow their business, create jobs, and invest in their communities.
“A coalition of American businesses of all sizes explained it best in their recent letter. They wrote:
‘As a result, manufacturers, especially small- and medium-sized manufacturers, in industries ranging from agriculture and electronics to textiles, chemicals and beyond, have seen their costs go up for inputs not produced in the United States, undermining American competitiveness and the ability of these companies to retain and create manufacturing jobs in the United States.’
“The good news is that help is on the way.
“After working together for months, Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert, Ranking Members Levin and Rangel, and I led a bipartisan group of Members in both the House and the Senate who recently introduced the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016. This bill is designed to solve this problem and deliver much-needed relief to manufacturers across our country. Here’s how the new three-step process will work:
“First, local businesses of all sizes throughout our districts will petition the independent, non-partisan International Trade Commission (ITC). They will make their case for why they need manufacturing tax breaks.
“After the ITC receives these petitions, it will solicit comments from the American public and the Administration. The ITC will conduct a thorough and transparent analysis.
“Second, the ITC will issue a public report to Congress with its analysis and recommendations regarding products that meet the MTB standards. In these reports, the ITC will confirm that no company in America makes these products and explain why it is important to offer these tax breaks to our manufacturers.
“The third and final step in the process is for Congress to consider the ITC’s recommendations. The Ways and Means Committee will examine the ITC’s recommendations and prepare a package of legislation providing tax breaks for American manufacturers. Consistent with our rules, we cannot add provisions that have not received a favorable recommendation from the ITC. Then, Congress will consider the entire package.
“At the end of this process, American manufacturers of all sizes will be able to enjoy tax breaks that will make it easier for them to compete in the global market and create more jobs in their communities.
“While this bill is a victory for manufacturers and consumers, it’s also a victory for transparency. After all, our new MTB process upholds our strong earmark rules and also gives the American people the opportunity to offer their opinion throughout the entire process.
“By passing this bill today, we’re taking a tremendous step to ensure that we finally have a system in place that helps our manufacturers compete in the global market – and win.
“I’d like to take a quick moment to recognize my colleagues who have worked so hard on this legislation. I’d specifically like to thank Ranking Member Levin, along with Subcommittee Chairman Reichert and Ranking Member Rangel, for their help and leadership.
“I’m also grateful to Committee Members Tiberi, Reed, and Renacci, Blumenauer, Pascrell, and Davis, who have been actively involved in developing this legislation.
“I would also like to thank Representatives Walker, McClintock, Rokita, Mulvaney, and Blum for their considerable leadership throughout this process.
“I urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this critical legislation. Thank you and I reserve the balance of my time.”