As House and Senate discussions around the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R. 644) continue, one emerging sticking point is whether to include in the final conference report a process that would allow for the elimination of longstanding distortions in the U.S. tariff code by temporarily eliminating taxes on imported products not available in the United States. Read More
The introduction of bipartisan legislation by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) to establish a new process for Congressional consideration of a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) is a long overdue step that would pave the way for the elimination of taxes that harm manufacturers here in the United States.
During the past 30 years, Congress has supported manufacturing in America by suspending or reducing import taxes on necessary manufacturing inputs that are not available in the United States and must be imported from overseas. The MTB has historically been noncontroversial and has received strong bipartisan and bicameral support: In 2010, the U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act passed the House by a 378-43 vote and the Senate by unanimous consent. Read More
A year ago today, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) legislation, H.R. 2708, along with his colleagues, Representatives Sander Levin (D-MI), Devin Nunes (R-CA), and Charles Rangel (D-NY). Unfortunately, the House has not taken any further action on MTB legislation and neither has the Senate.
It has been 562 days since the 2010-passed MTB expired and manufacturers have been calling on Congress to extend it ever since. It is long past due time that both chambers of Congress act on critical MTB legislation. As a result of Congressional inaction on an MTB package, manufacturers in America have been facing higher taxes that substantially increase their production costs and concretely threaten their competitiveness as well as their ability to retain and create new manufacturing jobs for American workers.
While some members of Congress provide explanations as to their inaction, there is no excuse. The MTB passed in 2010 enjoyed broad bipartisan support and sailed through the House by a vote of 378-43 and the Senate by unanimous consent. If both chambers acted on this crucial jobs legislation today, we would expect a similar show of support from both sides of the aisle.
In response to inside-the-beltway concerns that MTB provisions resemble earmarks, even stalwart conservatives like Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, has emphasized the importance of passing the MTB, saying that MTB measures “are not spending bills; they are tax cuts, period….While earmarks favor only a special few, the tariff-cuts benefit wide swaths of American industry and help create U.S. jobs and economic growth.” Mr. Norquist aptly points out that, without Congressional action, “the United States is applying a tax that only makes it harder for American companies to compete with their foreign competitors – and harder for them to create or even maintain existing jobs and economic growth.”
Job creators like PING, Bayer, BASF, and Lasko Products cannot afford to wait any longer for this cost-cutting legislation to be enacted. If Congress is serious about supporting manufacturing in the United States, they will move MTB legislation without further delay.
Members of Congress can call the MTB whatever they like, but for manufacturers, it is nothing less than a jobs bill and it is time that Congress act on it now to support American manufacturers and workers.
Tomorrow marks an unfortunate anniversary for manufacturers in America. 400 days will have passed without Congressional action on the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB).
For three decades, Congress has supported manufacturing in America by suspending import taxes on necessary manufacturing inputs and raw materials that are not available in the United States and must be imported from other countries. The last MTB enacted into law expired on December 31, 2012, which has resulted in significantly higher costs and in some cases, reduced hours for workers and even layoffs.
The MTB strengthens manufacturers’ global competitiveness by cutting their production costs. Doing so supports thousands of domestic manufacturing jobs. In fact, the MTB enacted in 2010 was estimated to support 90,000 jobs, increase U.S. production by $4.6 billion and expand U.S. GDP by $3.5 billion. Moreover, failure to pass a new MTB will result in a staggering $748 million tax hike on manufacturing over the next three years. This translates into a whopping $1.857 billion in economic losses. Manufacturers across a broad range of industries are already paying this $748 million tax and are calling on Congress to act as swiftly as possible on this commonsense, bipartisan and jobs-supporting legislation.
Numerous manufacturers, like Glen Raven in Burlington, North Carolina, rely on the MTB in order to make their products here in the United States. The President and CEO of Glen Raven, Leib Ohmig, recently shared with the NAM the importance of the MTB to his business: “Glen Raven is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of performance fabrics used in the furniture, automotive, safety, marine and sun shade industries. Since the raw materials required to manufacture these fabrics are no longer available in the United States, Glen Raven relies on the MTB to ensure these inputs can be sourced competitively. The expiration of the MTB has resulted in a significant tax on American manufacturing and made companies less competitive in the global marketplace. Glen Raven urges Congress to promptly pass the MTB as a means to spur much needed job creation and economic growth in the United States.”
DuPont also relies heavily on the MTB for their crop protection business. James Hay, Business Director for DuPont Crop Protection, North America said, “Duty suspensions increase the competitiveness of our U.S. manufacturing base by lowering our input costs and providing us the tools to sustain U.S. production. Lower manufacturing costs provide opportunities for business growth to support our company’s mission of sustainable growth.”
For companies like Glen Raven, DuPont, Lasko Products, BASF, Bayer CropScience and many others, the MTB is critical to keeping their costs low, enhancing their competitiveness in the global market, and most importantly, to sustaining and growing manufacturing jobs here in the United States.
Congressional action on this critical jobs bill is long overdue. Tell Congress to ACT NOW!
With the recent introduction of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) in the House, H.R. 2708, the U.S. Job Creation and Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, manufacturers strongly urge Congress to act on this important jobs bill in September . Passage of H.R. 2708 will help preserve manufacturing jobs and keep manufacturers in the United States globally competitive by keeping costs down. Among the many manufacturers in the United States affected by the outcome of this bill is Bayer CropScience.
Bayer CropScience (BCS) is a leading agricultural chemical company that brings together expertise in seeds, breeding, crop protection biologics and chemistry, as well as environmental science, to develop innovative solutions among key challenges in agriculture. BCS has nearly 2,500 employees in the U.S. and several manufacturing plants located in Missouri, Texas, California, West Virginia, and Michigan, with a new site slated for construction in Alabama.
BCS is committed to providing valuable products and innovative technology to farmers both here in the United States and around the world. In order to continue innovating and expanding, BCS needs this bipartisan bill passed quickly and retroactively. Since the expiration of the last MTB on December 31, 2012, Bayer CropScience has lost millions of dollars in duty relief within the first six months of this year alone. Overall, manufacturers stand to lose $748 million over the next three years if Congress fails to act. Manufacturers across a broad range of industries are calling on Congress to pass the MTB as soon as they reconvene in September.
This past Tuesday was National Golf Day, making this a fitting week to bring you the story of PING and how policies in Washington, particularly the miscellaneous tariff bill, are impacting golf equipment manufacturers.
In 1959, Karsten Solheim, a Norwegian immigrant and engineer, designed and manufactured a putter in his garage to address his frustration with putting, dubbing the new putter the PING putter because of the unique sound made when it struck the ball. A local golf professional was so impressed by the accuracy of the putter that he suggested Karsten make his invention available to other golfers. Soon after, Karsten transformed the family garage into a miniature manufacturing and assembly facility.
By 1966, Karsten Manufacturing Corporation became his full time job. Karsten pioneered the idea of custom fitting each golfer for golf clubs with specifications to fit each golfer’s characteristics and swing. Now PING manufactures and delivers premium, custom fit golf clubs to its customers within 48 hours of receiving an order.
Karsten’s youngest son, John Solheim, assumed leadership of the company in 1995 and has overseen its growth while building on the foundation of innovation, quality and integrity established by his father over 50 years ago. Read More
The clock continues to tick and we are now more than three months pas the expiration of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) at the end of the 112th Congress and as a result, manufacturers both large and small have seen their costs spike substantially this year. The 113th Congress must act quickly in order to reverse this tax increase on manufacturers in the United States.
Companies of all sizes benefit from the MTB to help level the playing field for manufacturers in the U.S. The MTB cuts costs by reducing or eliminating tariffs on critical manufacturing inputs that are not available in the United States. The lack of action by Congress on an MTB is hurting manufacturers’ cost-competitiveness, thereby threatening jobs and economic growth.
For Lasko Products in Pennsylvania, the MTB is a critical tool that helps them compete. In a challenging global market, the MTB helps Lasko stay competitive by reducing their costs.
“There are 675 American workers at Lasko facilities benefiting from the MTB program,” said Ed McAssey, Chief Operating Officer at Lasko. “The MTB allows Lasko to compete against low-cost imports of household electric fans from China. We are the last American producer of portable oscillating fans and have been able to stay in this business with the MTB program and heavy investment in capital equipment and tooling. If Congress fails to act quickly and renew the MTB, it will put American jobs in our factories at risk. We hope Congress will act expeditiously to preserve American jobs and our investment.”
Each day that passes without the MTB means higher tariffs for manufacturers in the United States – like Lasko. For three decades, Congress has acted in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion to pass this common-sense legislation. The time for them to act on the MTB is now.
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.
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. Read More
The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) expired on December 31, 2012, causing taxes to increase on more than 600 products critical to manufacturers. Today a group of manufacturing CEOs and senior executives sent a letter to congressional leaders urging action on a new MTB package to boost manufacturers’ competitiveness. The MTB is a tariff suspension on hundreds of inputs and products that are essential to the manufacturing process but not available in the United States.
Every day that passes without congressional action on a new MTB results in manufacturers costs going up, making it more expensive to manufacture in the United States. The longer we go without an MTB, the further it sets us back and puts manufacturing jobs at risk. The MTB levels the playing field for manufacturers and helps spur innovation and development of new products.
It’s time for the House and Senate to move forward with a new MTB. Manufacturers in America can’t afford to wait any longer.
Jessica Lemos is director of international trade policy, National Association of Manufacturers.
This morning on Capitol Hill the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) hosted a Shopfloor event to provide Congressional staff with additional information on the importance of the miscellaneous tariff bill (MTB). The current MTB expired at the end of 2012 and manufacturers have faced higher tariffs on products critical to their operations that are not available here in the United States.
The participants in today’s Shopfloor event included Linda Dempsey, vice president of international economic affairs for the NAM; Jessica Lemos, director of international trade policy; House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, Senator Bob Casey; Ron Eva, global sourcing and contracting manager for BASF Corporation and Ed McAssey, COO of Lasko Products, Inc.
Chairman Camp and Sen. Casey both discussed the importance of passing a bill as soon as possible. The MTB has bicameral and bipartisan support and helps support and create jobs.
Lasko Products produces desktop and oscillating fans at facilities in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas and they employee 900 people. Mr. McAssey discussed how important the MTB is to the competitiveness of the company. Without the MTB they will see costs rise, making it more expensive to manufacture fans, putting jobs at risk. The failure to move an MTB will also resonate throughout the supply chain for manufacturers like Lasko, impacting even more jobs.
Mr. Eva from BASF talked about the importance of the MTB to help maintain competitiveness in markets such as automotive, printing, packaging, telecommunications and agriculture. BASF has more than 100 facilities in 31 states in the United States and employ more than 15,000 people. The global market is becoming increasingly more competitive and the MTB helps BASF better compete against this growing competition.
Following the Shopfloor event dozens of manufacturers met with members of Congress and staff in the House and Senate to drive home the importance of moving an MTB as soon as possible. “There is a lot of talk about growing manufacturing jobs and this is an easy step Congress can take to do just that,” said the NAM’s Jessica Lemos. With manufacturers already facing a 20 percent cost disadvantage compared to our major trading partners it’s important Congress gives manufacturers the tools they need to compete.