It’s been a while since I’ve looked at tariffs, but, as CongressDaily notes, they’re back in the news (well, at least inside the beltway):
fter a high-profile fight over earmarks in the omnibus appropriations bill, another front in that battle is shaping up to be a huge package of tariff breaks on imported goods being cobbled together by the House Ways and Means Committee.
Senate Finance ranking member Charles Grassley wants to add the name of each lobbyist or individual proponent to the hundreds of individual tariff and duty suspensions Congress might consider, often of benefit to a single company. “Since President Obama says he opposes earmarks and wants more transparency surrounding them, he and his congressional allies should support full transparency, including lobbyist disclosure, in the miscellaneous tariff bill process,” an aide explained.
The measure ran out of gas last year when the Finance Committee expressed little interest in moving forward. There is an added urgency now, however, as many of the 817 tariff bills introduced in the 110th Congress in the House would extend duty relief that either already expired or will on Dec. 31.
Actually, my little tariff database does link to lobbyist disclosures (those I could find); of course, Grassley is right–Congress should do this itself, so I wouldn’t have had to spend so many hours on it.