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Tariff Reduction Bill Signed Into Law

Monday, September 17, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

President Trump signed into law Sept. 13 the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act (H.R. 4318), which suspends or reduces 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, but textiles, apparel, and footwear; machinery and equipment; and agricultural and fishery products are included as well.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, noted that the new MTB is the result of “nearly eight years of hard work.” The last MTB expired in 2012 and a successor was delayed as lawmakers worked to reform the MTB process, moving much of the work from Congress to the International Trade Commission. The bill also ran into difficulty as House Republicans debated whether it violated a commitment to avoid spending earmarks.

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons said the MTB frees U.S. manufacturers and other businesses from “a pointless $1 million a day tax,” which will allow them to “better compete against companies in China, Europe and elsewhere.” The American Chemical Council expressed hope that “the success of the MTB will help the President see that a zero-tariff policy that helps create new markets for producers and brings innovative products … to new regions is the best course for U.S. trade policy.”

For more information on the MTB or other trade-related legislative initiatives, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956.

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