It appears that Congress is once again trying to breathe new life into the miscellaneous tariff bill process.
It is being reported that a plan is circulating on Capital Hill to revise the process for introducing and passing these tariff suspension bills. The plan, which is based on the plan discussed in our January 29, 2015 update (below), as well as on an earlier plan, involves having the U.S. International Trade Commission solicit petitions for temporary duty suspensions, review and analyze those petitions (with input from the Administration and the public) to ensure that the requirements are met and there is no domestic opposition, and preparing a report for Congress with its analysis and recommendations. Congress would then draft the MTB legislation.
While this is a positive development, it is not certain to be adopted. The plan strives to comply with the ban on earmarks by no longer having members of Congress introduce individual bills, but it remains to be seen if enough House Republican lawmakers will agree. If they do, then it is possible we will see the process adopted sometime in the next few months. House leadership has indicated that they are striving to get this process in place prior to the July recess.
Tariff suspension bills can provide a significant benefit to companies that import dutiable items that cannot be sourced here in the United States, and is something most companies should consider. If you would like to discuss the possibility of seeking tariff suspension on a given article, or the process more generally, please let us know.