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Budget & Tax Data

October 09, 2013

Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Data

The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) is a compendium of more than two thousand tariff waivers which reduce the fees importers pay for a wide range of imported products – from snow globes to sports bras, from capers to dimethyl carbonate polymer with 1,6-hexanediol and 2-oxepanone. Each Congress crafts the bill out of the limelight with only a few (thousand) vested interests looking on. This year, it’s become a hot topic because of the existing moratorium on earmarks and a debate around whether the miscellaneous tariff bill is an earmark bill.  

Here’s how this system works: lawmakers file their individual tariff relief bills along with paperwork that provides documentation regarding the beneficiaries, the specific product,etc. Next, the International Trade Commission(ITC) investigates to see that there aren’t domestic competitors for the products (which would sink the proposed tariff benefit) and that the cost doesn’t exceed $500,000. Then theCustoms Service will determine if it is implementable. And finally Congress cobbles together all the vetted provisions into one massive MTB.

TCS compiled the tariff relief database so taxpayers can research what their lawmaker is requesting. It includes the lawmaker, the product that is subject to the tariff, the benefiting company, the lobbyist behind it (if applicable) and the campaign cash involved (again, if applicable). To view the MTB dataset page click here.

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