Among the tariff suspension bills considered by the 110th Congress, which went out of business before passing any of the them, one stood out: the Affordable Footwear Act. Most tariff suspension bills--which temporarily reduce taxes on imported goods--have only one sponsor. This one drew 157 co-sponsors. Most tariff bills benefit one firm, or at most a handful of firms; this one was accompanied by 111 pages of letters, all but three of which were from supporters. Most tariff bills cost the Treasury at most a couple of million while they're in effect; this one had at 2009 price tag ...Continue reading
The Washington lobbying firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld registered a new client on Feb. 11, 2009 -- the Tariff Action Coalition, which consists of eight companies that collectively have sought more than $20 million in tax breaks on imports plus one lobbying firm, Samuels International Associates, which represents companies seeking $3.7 million more.
The three lobbyists going to bat for the Tariff Action Coalition all have previous experience working as aides for the Senate Finance Committee. The coalition is "seeking enactment of miscellaneous tariff bills," according to the filing.
Came across it while going through lobbying registration reports for ...Continue reading
When I started looking at tariffs, I assumed I would be following measures to lower tariffs. Lately, all of the news has been running in the other direction.
Looking at OpenCongress.org, I found no tariff suspension bills. H.R. 1480, sponsored by Rep. Steve Kagen, would "require that certain laminated woven bags be marked with the country of origin," while this Senate resolution would express the sense that "United States and the People's Republic of China should work together to reduce or eliminate tariff and nontariff barriers to trade in clean energy and environmental goods and services."
Still ...Continue reading
The report underscores a "worrying" trend toward protectionism as countries rush to shield their ailing domestic industries during the global economic crisis. It comes one day after Mexico vowed to slap new restrictions on 90 U.S. products. That action is being taken in retaliation against Washington for canceling a program that allowed Mexican truck drivers the right to transport goods across the United States, illustrating the tit-for-tat responses that ...Continue reading
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 ...Continue reading
A few words on the tariff suspensions database...
The primary sources of data come from the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade (there's an Excel spread sheet available for download here and the U.S. International Trade Commission (their analyses of miscellaneous tariff bills from the last decade are online here).
The Ways and Means spreadsheet listed the bill number and name, its sponsor, a link to the bill text in Thomas, and a link to a file containing any comments the committee received about the bill (there are details on the commenting process here). USITC analyses of ...Continue reading
Though they likely won't become law in 2008, more than 800 bills that were introduced by 116 members of the House, that would cut taxes on imports by an estimated $1.1 billion, and that were specifically requested by 120 companies and organizations that would benefit from them, are still pending in the 110th Congress. The bills reduce or eliminate tariffs on everything from unicycles to storage batteries for hybrid cars, from hair fibers of the rare vicua to chemicals for making rodent poison. Of the named beneficiaries, 65 hired in-house or outside lobbyists that listed specific bills or ...Continue reading