Why the MTB is Critical to Companies like BASF

By March 19, 2013Trade

As the last Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) package expired at the end of the 112th Congress, manufacturers began to see their costs go up. Congress failed to pass a new package which lead to the expiration of duty suspensions on more than 600 products critical to manufacturers in the United States.

Ron Eva, BASF global sourcing and contracting manager, speaks about the MTB during an NAM Shopfloor event on Capitol Hill

Ron Eva Speaks During an NAM Shopfloor Event on the MTB

The MTB provides manufacturers a duty suspension on inputs not available in the U.S. that are critical to the manufacturing process. In its simplest terms, it helps to level the playing field for manufacturers and supports jobs. Currently, it is 20 percent more expensive to manufacture in the U.S. compared to our major trading partners, this is why a tool like the MTB, which lowers costs, is critical to our competitiveness.

One company that sees the MTB as essential to competitiveness is BASF. BASF is the world’s leading chemical company – The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics,  and performance products to crop protection products.  BASF has more than 100 facilities in 31 states across the country and more than 15,000 employees in the U.S. alone. The MTB is critical to BASF’s competitiveness in the automotive, printing, packaging, telecommunications and agriculture markets.

“The MTB helps BASF remain competitive in the agriculture market which continues to see increased competition and more choices for customers,” said Ron Eva, BASF global sourcing and contracting manager.

Currently, BASF has more than 50 products that would benefit from the MTB, with an estimated duty savings of $15 million per year.

“The bottom line is the MTB helps reduce costs, but it means much more to our competitiveness,” said Eva. “With the MTB in place, we are able to develop innovative and sustainable solutions which help farmers and other customers succeed.”

BASF's Verbund site in Freeport, Texas

BASF's Verbund site in Freeport, Texas

Mr. Eva also recently participated in a National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Shopfloor Briefing on Capitol Hill to provide congressional staff information on the importance of the MTB to manufacturers’ competitiveness and job growth.

The clock continues to tick as we are now more than two and a half months past the expiration of the previous MTB package. With each passing day manufacturers are paying higher tariffs. We need Washington to help us lower that 20 percent cost disadvantage to get Americans back to work.


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