Following her February 25, 2021, Senate hearing confirmation hearing nominee for United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai responded to written questions from the senators.
SENATOR MIKE CRAPO (Rep., Idaho)
QUESTION: The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) was not reauthorized last year. This hurts our manufacturers who rely on various inputs covered by the tariff relief in the bill.
Do you agree that:
- we need to provide the type of tariff relief provided for in the MTB;
- the process for determining which goods should be covered by the MTB should be objective and transparent; and
- that the process for the International Trade Commission to evaluate petitions for inclusion in the MTB has been a major improvement in developing the MTB?
ANSWER: If confirmed, I commit to working closely with Congress on renewal of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill
SENATOR JOHN CORNYN (Rep., Texas)
QUESTION: Two critical trade preference programs -- the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) -- lapsed at the end of 2020 imposing a tax increase on American workers, American consumers, and American businesses at a time when they can least afford it. Both the GSP and MTB programs have been supported for decades by overwhelming bipartisan majorities. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused great uncertainty for American companies and their U.S. workers. This is not the time to impose new costs on U.S. supply chains, particularly on American job creators who are still recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Can you confirm the Administration’s support for retroactive renewal of GSP and MTB in short order?
ANSWER: If confirmed, I commit to working closely with Congress on renewal of GSP and MTB
QUESTION:The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) provides important relief for U.S. chemical manufacturers who cannot get certain inputs or intermediate goods here in the United States. But the most recent MTB expired at the end of last year – in the middle of a pandemic and economic recession. Programs like the MTB are generally supported by my colleagues and quickly renewed by Congress.Do you support tariff relief measures like the MTB that help strengthen U.S. manufacturing?
ANSWER: If confirmed, I commit to working closely with Congress on all trade legislation, including the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill.
SENATOR ROB PORTMAN (Rep., Ohio)
QUESTION: While many companies have been squeezed as a result the pandemic-related economic downturn, the year ended without renewal of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB). What role do you believe tariff relief plays in the economic recovery? Do you support renewing the MTB?
ANSWER: If confirmed, I commit to working closely with Congress to renew the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill.