By Ray E. Shaw
The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), federal legislation that results in duty suspension or reduction for U.S. importers, is back on the radar of U.S. importers with a new twist. The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) solicits petitions for duty suspension or reduction from the private sector beginning October 14, 2016. The petition period is 60 days, which means the deadline to submit a petition for duty suspension or reduction is December 12, 2016. There is no opportunity to petition the federal government after the deadline. Petitions are open to public comment and other federal agency review.
The USITC will review petitions and comments in 2017 and is expected to publish a report to Congress in mid-2017. The USITC report will recommend inclusion or exclusion of each petition in a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill. Congress will then have 90 days to review, consider, and pass the MTB. The MTB will eliminate or reduce duty on select imported products for three years.
According to Pete Mento, Principal in Ryan’s Customs and Foreign Trade practice, “the MTB benefits U.S. importers by temporarily suspending or reducing duties on imported intermediate goods used in production in the United States or finished goods that have limited domestic availability. The MTB is an effective trade policy tool that limits production costs for American businesses and results in real savings for American consumers.”