Tariff Suspension Legislation

Dear Friends:

As you know, the tariff suspension bill process (also known as “miscellaneous tariff bills” or “MTB’s”) has had a tortured history in recent years. There was hope that tariff suspension legislation would be passed during the 112th Congress (which ended in January 2013), but those efforts ultimately petered out without any new bills being passed, or any existing bills being renewed.

Now that the 113th Congress has begun and the committees have been re-staffed, it looks like the process is going to start again. The House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Trade recently announced that tariff suspension bills introduced during the 112th Congress would be considered during the 113th Congress provided that the sponsor submitted a new disclosure form. Specifically, the subcommittee stated on its website:

“On January 1, 2013, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim McDermott (D-WA) announced the introduction of the “U.S. Job Creation and Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2013” (H.R. 6727). The package includes provisions from more than 2,000 bills introduced in the House and Senate during the transparent MTB process. The bill was introduced to set the stage for moving the MTB forward in the 113th Congress.

In order for Members who introduced bill(s) in the 112th Congress to have their provisions included in the 113th Congress MTB process, Members must submit 113th Congress Disclosure Forms to refresh their disclosure information. Members will not be required to reintroduce their bills, and no new bills will be accepted at this time. Bills whose sponsors have not returned in the 113th Congress must be adopted by another Member who completes a 113th Congress Disclosure Form for that adopted bill(s).

Sponsoring, cosponsoring, as well as adopting Members are required to submit by Thursday, March 28, 2013, at 12 noon, one 113th Congress MTB Disclosure Form for each bill they have sponsored/cosponsored/adopted for the bill to be considered in the 113th Congress MTB process. Please be advised that no bill will be considered in the 113th Congress MTB process unless this deadline is met.”

Thus, any company that had a tariff suspension bill submitted during the 112th Congress should contact the sponsor(s) to have him/her submit a new disclosure form before March 28, 2013.

While this development only applies to tariff suspension bills that were submitted previously, it hopefully signals a willingness to deal with new bills in the not-too-distant future.

If you have any questions about this development, please let me know.

Best regards,

Ted

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