Effective January 1, 2021 duty reductions under the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) expired. Additionally, Congress has not indicated when it might consider a new MTB bill. As a result of the MTB expiring, over 1,600 products will immediately face increased tariffs and over 2,500 products will be prevented from receiving anticipated duty reductions even though those products were recommended for tariff relief when the International Trade Commission submitted its final MTB report to the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee on August 10, 2020.
Significantly, the MTB legislation (the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016) contains no requirement that either committee introduce MTB legislation. Rather, the law expresses a “sense of Congress” that Congress “should” consider a bill within 90 days after the ITC submits its final report. As such, Congress’ failure to renew the MTB legislation timely will immediately impact importers and others in the supply chain faced with higher costs but will not have real consequences for legislators. Also, the last time that the MTB lapsed and was renewed, the renewal was not retroactive, although it is possible that the trade community will ask for retroactivity when Congress considers goods eligible for the new round of MTB benefits.
We believe that the MTB will be renewed in 2021, but actual dates are uncertain other than that the next MTB round will be well after the new administration comes into power. Husch Blackwell’s international trade team will continue to monitor MTB developments and advise on MTB developments.