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U.S. House Passes Tariff Relief

Date: 7/21/10

Makers of Volleyballs, Basketballs, and Golf Bags Are Pleased

SILVER SPRING, MD – July 21, 2010 -- This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) by a vote of 378-43.  As reported last week by SGMA, the legislation contained an extension of the duty relief for volleyballs, rubber basketballs, leather basketballs, synthetic basketballs, and golf bags that expired on January 1, 2010.  The new language would reduce the duty on volleyballs from 4.8% to free; the duty on rubber basketballs would drop from 4.8% to 0.7%; the duty on leather basketballs would fall from 4.8% to free; the duty on synthetic basketballs would be lowered from 4.8% to 1.1%; and the duty on golf bags would be cut from 7% to 1.5%. There was duty relief on these products from 2007 through 2009.  The new duty reduction would run through 2012. 

Passage in the House is a positive step, but the MTB now must be approved by the U.S. Senate. The preferred strategy in the Senate is to approve the legislation using ‘Unanimous Consent,’ in order to avoid a recorded vote.  Under ‘Unanimous Consent,’ a single U.S. Senator can kill the MTB bill with a ‘no’ vote.  At present, there is no schedule for consideration of the MTB, but it could be taken up at any time.  The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are scheduled to leave Washington, D.C. at the beginning of August and return after Labor Day. 

“The support of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill in the House was long overdue and greatly appreciated,” said Bill Sells, SGMA’s vice president of government relations.  “It’s now time for us to focus on getting this bill approved by the U.S. Senate and signed by President Obama.”

SGMA will continue to work for passage of the MTB and keep the sporting goods industry informed of any developments.

This bill would also allow companies to request retroactive relief from January 1, 2010.  Companies requesting relief would be required to provide Customs and Border Patrol certain information to be granted retroactive relief.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry.  SGMA helps lead the sports and fitness industries by fostering participation through research, thought leadership, product promotion, and public policy.  More information about SGMA membership and SGMA's National Health Through Fitness Day can be found at www.SGMA.com.

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