Passed by Senate, MTB Bill Now Headed to Obama

The long-delayed Miscellaneous Trade Bill is on its way to President Obama’s desk after passage by the U.S. Senate last week. Titled the “U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010,” the bill restores duty relief that expired Jan. 1 for hundreds of imports, including a cornucopia of sporting goods.


The bill restores duty suspension on volleyballs, rubber basketballs, leather basketballs, synthetic basketballs, and golf bags, waterproof breathable footwear, ski and snowboard equipment and outdoor footwear. Bicycle companies will benefit from lower tariffs on tubing, speedometers, road and hydraulic disc brakes and certain rims and cranks.


When Congress failed to renew the bill in 2009, duties reverted to as high as 37.5% on some types of outdoor footwear. Once signed into law by the President, affected companies will have up to 180 days to file reimbursement claims with U.S. Customs & Border Patrol to recover the higher duties paid since Dec. 31, 2009.


Persuading Congress to renew the MTB was a top priority for both Outdoor Industry Association and SGMA.

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Passed by Senate, MTB Bill Now Headed to Obama

The United States Senate today passed the U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010, better known as the miscellaneous tariff bill, or MTB (H.R. 4380). 


“This bill will make it cheaper and easier for American small businesses and manufacturers to make their products here at home and compete around the world,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) “This legislation is exactly the kind of smart, targeted relief U.S. companies need to create and maintain good-paying American jobs.” 

 

As reported, the bill restores duty relief for a cornucopia of sporting goods, including bicycle parts, outdoor footwear, snow sports equipment, volleyballs, rubber basketballs, leather basketballs, synthetic basketballs, and golf bags that expired on Jan. 1, 2010. The bill also included several duty suspensions on waterproof breathable footwear, ski and snowboard equipment and footwear. Bicycle companies will benefit from lower tariffs on tubing, speedometers, road and hydraulic disc brakes and certain rims and cranks.

 

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) hailed the Senate’s action as a major legislative victory for the industry and consumers.  The vote by unanimous consent meant that the more than $21 million in cost savings on specialty outdoor footwear and other outdoor products enacted by the 2006 MTB, would be extended for at least another year and a half, according to OIA.

“With today’s vote in the Senate, coupled with last week’s vote to pass the MTB in the House, and now after President Obama’s signature, outdoor companies will again see cost savings that will allow them to invest in the product innovations that drive our industry, support the millions of jobs they create and support across the country and lower retail prices on specialty outdoor products for the American people,” said OIA President and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer.


OIA and SGMA and their members were instrumental in getting the MTB passed, contacting dozens of members of Congress to encourage votes in favor of this important legislation.

Because many of the bills included in the U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act are extensions of previously enacted, but since expired tariff suspensions, the MTB has a provision making it retroactive to Jan. 1, 2010.  Companies will have 180 days from enactment to file reimbursement for duties paid from the first of the year to the date of enactment.


The legislation now goes to President Obama for his signature and once enacted, OIA will assist members in evaluating whether their products are eligible for duty suspensions and with filing reimbursements from U.S Customs and Border Protection.


 

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