Following a directive of the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 (AMCA) that was passed into law earlier this year, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) last week launched a new website establishing the process for the submission and consideration of Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) petitions.
MTB requests generally seek to obtain a temporary reduction or suspension of duties on certain U.S. imports.
As explained by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative: “The primary purpose of such bills is to help U.S. manufacturers compete at home and abroad by temporarily suspending or reducing duties on intermediate products or materials that are not made domestically, or where there is no domestic opposition. Such reductions or suspensions reduce costs for U.S. businesses and ultimately increase the competitiveness of their products.”
If enacted by Congress, MTBs create a temporary duty remission in HTS chapter 99, which allows for “special classification provisions”.
In the past, U.S. importers would often request that Members of Congress introduce bills seeking to temporarily suspend or reduce tariffs on certain imports. The Commission would review and produce reports for Congress on each bill, and the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees would then combine the individual bills in a single MTB for Congressional consideration.
Under reforms made in the AMCA, potential beneficiaries must now file a petition directly with the Commission. The Commission will publish and request public comment on the petitions received and issue preliminary and final reports recommending certain petitions for inclusion in an MTB for Congressional consideration.
The new website has therefore been established to help facilitate this process and is the first step towards a more comprehensive MTB web portal that is still under construction and scheduled to launch mid-October.