THE HILL: Business ups pressure for tariff relief

04/15/2016

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April 13, 2016 | By: Vicki Needham

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) are pressuring Congress to complete work on a long-delayed tariff overhaul that would reduce costs for their businesses.

The two powerhouse groups say there is growing momentum on Capitol Hill to lower or eliminate tariffs on hundreds of imported production components that are not manufactured in the United States.

Christopher Wenk, executive director of international policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the “stars are aligning” for tariff legislation after years of delays. The last package expired at the end of 2012.
“Once the bill comes out and the hearing happens, it will take this effort into the next phase, and there’s a desire on the Hill to get moving very quickly,” Wenk said.

The Chamber plans to pound the pavement in the coming days, when legislative activity around tariffs is expected to pick up.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) could release legislation on tariffs as early as this week, while his panel’s trade subcommittee will explore the topic during a hearing Thursday afternoon.

“We’ll be up there pushing for it because there’s a big role for the business community to be playing,” Wenk said.

Linda Dempsey, vice president of international affairs with NAM, said her members remain hopeful that a bill can get done soon.

“We’re doing everything we can to move the process along quickly,” Dempsey said.

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