This month the International Trade Commission (ITC) will begin accepting petitions for the latest cycle of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB). U.S. companies that participate in the MTB process have the potential to save significant amounts of money in eliminated or reduced duties on imported articles used in their manufacturing or production processes.

In 2016, Congress passed the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, a law designed to provide duty relief to U.S. manufacturers paying duties on inputs they are forced to purchase overseas because they are not manufactured domestically. Because these duties drive up the price of U.S.-made final products but do nothing to protect U.S. industry, the Congress created a process to suspend or reduce duties on these goods on a temporary basis.

Under the current iteration of the MTB process, U.S. businesses must submit petitions to the ITC, an independent federal agency that holds hearings, establishes a notice-and-comment period, and conducts an economic review of all petitions. ITC subsequently issues a report to Congress with its recommendations, and federal lawmakers aim to draft and enact a consolidated Miscellaneous Tariff Bill that includes all successful petitions.

The ITC began accepting new petitions on October 11, 2019, and U.S. businesses have 60 days from that date to submit petitions. The filing period will end on December 10, 2019, after which the ITC will conduct its review and issue its report. The 2019 MTB cycle is expected to be very similar to the previous cycle that started in 2016, but with a few notable changes.

Successful MTB petitions can provide significant savings to U.S. companies. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Venable's International Trade Group attorneys if you have any questions as to how the MTB process may lower your costs and enhance your competitiveness.