Manufacturers Wait for Congress to Act on MTB
Since late 2012, manufacturers all over America have been waiting for Congress to act on a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB). The previous MTB was allowed to expire at the end of the 2012, and ever since manufacturers have been paying higher taxes and import duties on raw materials and intermediate products shipped in from overseas, many of which simply aren’t available in the United States.
The MTB is a method of temporarily suspending duties on the import of certain “non-controversial” materials, such as raw materials and intermediate goods. In order to count as “non-controversial,” a product must not have opposition from a domestic producer, and the suspension of dues must not reduce tariff revenues by more than $500,000. In the past, these bills have generally been bipartisan and, like the materials they cover, non-controversial.
On the website of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) there’s a countdown clock running, updating to the second the amount of time that has passed since the previous MTB expired on January 1, 2013. Currently, the count is at more than 550 days, and constantly creeping upward. The NAM has been part of an effort to encourage Congress to act quickly to reinstate the MTB and save money for manufacturers nationwide.
According to their economic impact assessment, failure to pass the new MTB is producing an effective tax hike of hundreds of millions of dollars for manufacturers, while also resulting in economic losses of a projected $1.857 billion over three years. Last month, manufacturers from all over the country left their shop floors to go to Capitol Hill to speak out about the MTB and how it affects their business, their production, and their bottom line. Many manufacturers are feeling the pinch of higher effective taxes on necessary manufacturing inputs that can’t be acquired except from overseas.
The lack of action on the MTB is just one of many economic, infrastructural, technological, and ideological challenges that face U.S. manufacturers in a rapidly-changing, competitive global economy. While American manufacturing is the most productive in the world, and would still be the planet’s 8th largest economy even if taken alone, manufacturers in America face escalating challenges—and new opportunities—brought on by technological advances, aging infrastructure, changing workforce, and a truly global economy. In this dynamic environment, manufacturers become advocates and innovators, moving for political change and seeking out new approaches to old methods in order to stay on the cutting edge.
Here at the Cleveland Deburring Machine Company, we understand innovation, and we also understand how important it is to have some solid ground under your feet when so much is changing around you. That’s why we offer deburring machinery solutions that are top-of-the-line and custom-tailored to the needs of our manufacturing clients, but also using time-tested techniques and approaches that you can be confident in.