ARLINGTON, Va., April 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA) today testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to emphasize the benefits of Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTB) and advocate for permanent duty suspensions and reductions.
Also serving on the panel was SOCMA member and longtime MTB champion Brooke DiDomenico of Nation Ford Chemical, a specialty chemical manufacturer in Fort Mill, SC.
"SOCMA supports the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (AMCA) and Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTB), which allow manufacturers to petition for removal of tariffs on essential goods not available in the United States," said Matthew Moedritzer, Manager, Legal & Government Relations. "U.S. specialty chemical manufacturing is a value-added industry in which domestic manufacturers must import chemicals they then use to manufacture and innovate new chemicals. In fact, chemicals make up 56 percent of total savings from MTB – roughly $556 million."
By modifying the name of the "Intermediate Chemicals for Dyes Appendix" to the "Duty-Free Chemicals Appendix" and allowing for regular updates that satisfy the letter and spirit of AMCA's transparent and rigorous vetting process, the goal of qualifying specific and significant amounts of MTB-eligible products for permanent duty suspensions is in sight, Moedritzer said. The European Union has had a similar program in place for decades, and such upgrades would level the playing field for U.S. producers.
Without MTB, Nation Ford Chemical's import duties will increase by $225,000, which takes away resources currently being reinvested in the company for growth and job creation, DiDomenico said.
The existing temporary duty suspension process, while vital, is not predictable, Moedritzer said. It also caps the maximum level of savings for a product at $500,000 per year. The process suggested to the USITC today seeks to eliminate both of these issues.
The key to permanent relief is identifying products the U.S. economy needs to prosper, while at the same time not diluting the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) leverage in the international forum, Moedritzer said.
The Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA) is part of a $300 billion industry that's fueling the U.S. economy. Our members play an indispensable role in the global chemical supply chain, providing specialty chemicals to companies in markets ranging from aerospace and electronics to pharmaceuticals and agriculture. www.socma.com.
SOURCE Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates