On behalf our organizations’ members across the country, we urge you to create a path forward for Miscellaneous Trade Bills (MTBs) in H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.
MTBs allow Congress to reduce tariffs, which are nothing more than taxes on American consumers and businesses. While we would prefer broader, more comprehensive approaches to tariff reductions, MTBs have long served as a bipartisan approach to lessening the burden of government and increasing economic growth. Indeed, since they provide relief from tariffs on highly-sought finished goods and raw materials brought into the United States, MTBs deliver advantages to our consumers and businesses above all others. Congress should not allow this opportunity to pass it by once again. It should pass legislation that allows for permanent tariff reductions on as many product categories as possible.
At the same time, Congress must ensure that MTBs do not give undue consideration to special interests in Washington. To that end, the House and Senate should reform the process so that individual companies request tariff relief from the International Trade Commission, rather than appealing directly to Members of Congress. This would greatly benefit taxpayers by increasing transparency and accountability. Additionally, Congress should ensure that the ITC does not use MTBs to reward or deny tariff relief based on political considerations.
Congress has not passed an MTB package since 2010. It’s time to act. We urge you to include language in H.R. 644 that will allow Congress to pass MTBs, thereby reducing unnecessary tariffs and strengthening the economy here at home.
Jeffrey Mazzella, PresidentCenter for Individual Freedom Fran Smith, Board Member and Adjunct FellowCompetitive Enterprise Institute Lori Sanders, Outreach Director and Senior FellowR Street Institute Karen Kerrigan, President and CEOSmall Business and Entrepreneurship Council Lisa Nelson, CEOThe Jeffersonian Project, An Affiliate of the American Legislative Exchange Council
David Williams, PresidentTaxpayers Protection Alliance