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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.
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