On May 20, 2016, President Obama signed the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016. The Act creates a new process for establishing temporary duty suspension on products that are not available domestically. While many details have yet to be announced, many companies may wish to see if any of their inputs will qualify when the new process is published later this year.
As with the previous versions of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, duties may be eliminated or reduced for a period of up to three years on imported articles. The new process is intended to be restricted to items that cannot be sourced domestically. Determination for eligibility will be made by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).
In addition, the Act requires the Congressional Budget Office to provide Congress with an assessment of whether the amount of a duty suspension or reduction in an MTB request exceeds $500,000 in a calendar year. In such cases, Congress is required to adjust the duty reduction amount amount so that the estimated loss in revenue to the United States does not exceed the $500,000 threshold.
The USITC is to initiate the new MTB procedure via Federal Register notice published no later than October 15th of this year. Petitions and related information requested by the ITC will need to be filed within 60 days of the date of the ITC’s Federal Register notice. Each petition must include details on the article for which duty relief is being sought, the industry in the United States that uses the article, historical import data, and whether domestic production of the article occurs in the United States.