Tuttle Law

A Customs & Int'l. Trade Law Firm
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Congress Fails To Pass Miscellaneous Tariff Bill By End Of 2009

January 7, 2010

Unfortunately, due to other pressing matters, Congress failed to pass a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) before it adjourned in 2009. The bill would have extended numerous duty suspension or duty reduction provisions that expired on December 31, 2009. However, there is a possibility that Congress may act on an MTB after it reconvenes in mid-January. 

In 2008, the House Subcommittee on Trade opened up the opportunity for congressional representatives to introduce legislation on MTBs, which was extended until May 2008. The Senate in 2008 did not open up any opportunity to introduce MTBs. No action was taken in 2008 on any MTB due to the financial crisis that the U.S. was facing in the fall of that year.

In 2009, the House Subcommittee on Trade decided not to re-open any opportunity to introduce MTBs because it wanted to focus on the MTBs that were introduced in 2008. The bills that were introduced in 2008 were vetted by the International Trade Commission (ITC). Unfortunately, the Subcommittee on Trade did not introduce any MTB until December 16, 2009, and the House adjourned for the year without passing it.

On the Senate side, the Senate opened up the opportunity to introduce MTBs only during the month of October 2009. Under current procedures these bills must also be vetted by the ITC, but because of the late introduction period, this process was not completed. Due to a number of “holds” on the Senate MTB and to Congress’ preoccupation with health care legislation, the Senate did not introduce any MTB in 2009. 

We understand that when the House and Senate reconvene in mid-January, there will be efforts to take up and approve the legislation on the tariff suspensions and reductions that have already been reviewed by the ITC, which also includes new measures as well as the renewal of existing duty breaks. It is unclear as to whether retroactive refunds will be issued from January 1, 2010 until the time the duty suspensions are reenacted. 

If you would like a copy of the MTB that was introduced by the House on December 16th and/or a list of the miscellaneous tariff bills that were introduced into the Senate in October 2009, please send an email to us with your request and we will forward the list to you.

If you have any questions with regard to this, please contact Steve Spraitzar at steve.spraitzar@tuttlelaw.com or via telephone at (415) 288-0427 or George Tuttle at george.tuttle.sr@tuttlelaw.com or via telephone at (415) 288-0425.

 

Steve Spraitzar and George R. Tuttle are attorneys with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco.

The information in this article is general in nature, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.

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