Executive Briefings

Obama Approves Tariff Relief for Imports of Raw Materials for Chemicals Industry

President Barack Obama has signed legislation that will provide tariff relief to U.S. chemical producers that import raw materials and intermediate products.

"With 80 percent of specialty chemical manufacturers importing raw materials for which there is no domestic source, this bill is a huge deal," says William E. Allmond IV, vice president of government and public relations at the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates, which represents mainly small and medium-sized chemical companies.

The legislation, called the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act and signed by the president May 20, lays out a new process for compiling what is called a miscellaneous tariff bill, a massive duty-cutting measure.

In the past, lawmakers would combine hundreds of duty suspension bills they introduced at the request of home-state manufacturers to create a single miscellaneous tariff package. The noncontroversial legislation would routinely pass with little or no opposition.

But that practice ended when Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives began a moratorium on earmarks in late 2010. Duty suspensions were treated as earmarks because they generally benefit only a few companies.

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"With 80 percent of specialty chemical manufacturers importing raw materials for which there is no domestic source, this bill is a huge deal," says William E. Allmond IV, vice president of government and public relations at the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates, which represents mainly small and medium-sized chemical companies.

The legislation, called the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act and signed by the president May 20, lays out a new process for compiling what is called a miscellaneous tariff bill, a massive duty-cutting measure.

In the past, lawmakers would combine hundreds of duty suspension bills they introduced at the request of home-state manufacturers to create a single miscellaneous tariff package. The noncontroversial legislation would routinely pass with little or no opposition.

But that practice ended when Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives began a moratorium on earmarks in late 2010. Duty suspensions were treated as earmarks because they generally benefit only a few companies.

Read Full Article