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Miscellaneous Trade Bill Reform Expected to be Signed Into Law Soon

Thursday, May 12, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Senate voted May 10 to approve legislation (H.R. 4923) reforming the process of developing and enacting miscellaneous trade bills, which suspend duties on imported inputs and products for which there is no or insufficient domestic production and availability. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law soon, paving the way for the first MTB process in six years. Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg will host a free 30-minute webinar May 25 to explain the new process, including when it will start, when duty relief can be expected and how to identify qualifying products.

Under H.R. 4923, the MTB process will begin with petitions submitted by U.S. businesses to the International Trade Commission rather than via legislation introduced by members of Congress. The ITC will analyze these petitions, taking into account comments received from the public and the White House, and then issue a public report to Congress with its recommendations regarding those products that meet MTB standards. The House Ways and Means Committee will then examine the ITC’s recommendations and draft an MTB, which may exclude products recommended by the ITC but may not add products that are not recommended. The committee will have to certify that there are no spending earmarks and publish a list of any limited tariff benefits (tax cuts that benefit ten or fewer businesses). The House and Senate will then consider the MTB within existing rules.

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