Legislation to Lower Tariffs, Aid Affected Businesses Moving Through Congress
MTB. The House of Representatives approved Sept. 4 the Senate version of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (H.R. 4318), which would suspend or reduce through Dec. 31, 2020, import duties on approximately 1,700 products generally not made in the U.S. A majority of the products covered by the MTB are chemicals. Also included are textiles, apparel, and footwear; machinery and equipment; and agricultural and fishery products. The bill must now be signed by the president before the tariff rate changes can take effect.
Tariffs. Legislation introduced Sept. 4 (S. 3407 and H.R. 6699) would use the funds collected from increased tariffs on imported goods to offset the retaliatory duties being imposed by other countries by funding programs to promote exports of U.S. agricultural commodities and products. A press release from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., notes that the federal government has already collected more than $3.5 billion from these tariffs, which are “impacting everything from commodity prices to input costs for [agricultural] producers.”
Seafood Trade. The Maritime Security and Fisheries Enforcement Act (S. 3400, introduced Aug. 28 by Sen. Coons, D-Del.) aims to address the threat to national security from illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and associated illegal activity and to prevent the illegal trade of seafood and seafood products. Anticipated outcomes of this bill include supporting coordination and collaboration to counter IUU fishing and seafood fraud with governments and non-governmental organizations within priority regions, enhancing the implementation of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program, promoting the use of trade agreements to counter IUU fishing, and improving global enforcement operations.
For more information on these or other trade-related bills, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956.