Manufacturers, Retailers Agree on Need to Pass Miscellaneous Tariff Bill
The introduction of legislation in the House of Representatives of a new miscellaneous tariff bill (MTB)—known as the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016—was welcomed by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
According to NAM, a new MTB would eliminate or reduce hundreds of import duties on raw materials and intermediate products that are not produced or available domestically. The last MTB passed by Congress expired on December 31, 2012. Since Congress has not acted on MTB legislation for over three years, manufacturers have been paying substantially higher taxes on manufacturing inputs since January 1, 2013. NAM estimates that manufacturers pay $748 million more in taxes annually as a result, and that the United States economy lost $1.857 billion.
“Manufacturers are encouraged that, after three years of calling upon Congress to act, leaders in the House and Senate have introduced legislation to create a transparent and predictable MTB process that eliminates unnecessary border taxes,” said Linda Dempsey, NAM’s vice president of international economic affairs. “Amid rising costs and a tough global economy, manufacturers are paying and will continue to pay a heavy price if Congress does not move on this legislation. These distortions are particularly severe for those manufacturers that must pay tariffs on necessary inputs not produced domestically, while the competing foreign finished product comes in duty-free.”
“RILA applauds the introduction of the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016, which sets forth a process to reduce or eliminate duties on certain imports into the United States,” said Hun Quach, vice president for international trade. “The miscellaneous tariff bill will enhance the competitiveness of American businesses.”
The 595 American workers in Lasko Products’ U.S. facilities in West Chester, Pennsylvania, would benefit from a renewed MTB program, according to chief operating officer Ed McAssey. “The MTB allowed Lasko to compete against low-cost imports of household electric fans from China,” he said. “Without the MTB, we’ve struggled to maintain our production levels.”
Milliken & Company of Spartanburg, South Carolina, employs 6,000 men and women in the U.S. and manufactures polypropylene clarifiers and nucleators for use in the packaging, food storage and container markets. “Because the raw materials needed are not produced in the United States, we have relied on the MTB process to reduce our overall costs and improve our global competitiveness,” said Allen Jacoby, the company’s general manager. “Milliken encourages Congress to find a path forward by reforming the MTB process so manufacturers can take advantage of this needed tax break.”