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SFIA Seeks Tariff Reduction on Member-Made Sports Products

Date: 4/20/16

Congress Ready to Move on MTB Tariff Relief

Washington, DC,  April 20, 2016 – The U.S. House of Representatives, Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade announced its intention to strengthen American manufacturing by reducing tariffs on certain imported products.  The Trade subcommittee took the first step toward reducing tariffs on imports of products not manufactured in the USA at an April 14 hearing on renewing the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB). 

The MTB temporarily suspends duties on products no longer produced in the U.S.  MTB’s can last up to three years and then are reconsidered by Congress.  Until 2012, MTB’s were renewed on a regular basis every few years.  Congress’s new policy on ‘earmarks’ pushed MTB relief into a gray area and it has not been renewed since.  Products traditionally receiving favorable tariff treatment under the MTB suffered as the duty relief languished in Congress. 

Congress has agreed on a new process to avoid the earmark issue that it plans to approves in the next month and start the process to pass a new MTB in the next year. Under the new plan, the International Trade Commission (ITC) is expected to announce the petition process over the summer and start accepting petitions for products in late summer to early fall. The ITC will review all petitions to ensure there is no domestic manufacturer and determine the duty relief to stay under the $500,000 relief per product cap.  Products can be broken into subcategories to maximize the tariff relief.

SFIA will organize petitions for products important to its members.  Interested manufacturers are encouraged to contact Bill Sells, SFIA Vice President for Government Relations & Public Affairs at bsells@sfia.org to learn more about the upcoming petition process.

Current tariff rates and proposed reductions on products that previously received MTB Relief include:

 Previous  Current  2013   Current 
 MTB Products Duty Rate  Proposed Rate  New MTB Products  Duty Rate 
 Basketballs(Leather)  4.8%  Free (0%) 'Other' Balls  4.8% 
 Basketballs (Rubber) 4.8% 2.2%  Tennis Racquets (Strung) 5.3%
 Basketballs (Other) 4.8% 2.9% Tennis Racquets (Unstrung)  4.9 
 Volleyballs 4.8%  Free (0%) Badmiton Racquets  5.6% 
 Golf Bags 7.0%  1.5%  Racquetball Racquets 4.0% 
 Drivers 4.9%  4.6% Squash Racquets 4.0% 
 Fairway Woods 4.9%  Free (0%)  Table Tennis 5.1% 
 Hybrids 4.9%  Free (0%)  Exercise Cycles 4.6% 
 Irons 4.9% 3%  Exercise Rowing Machines 4.6%
 Wedges 4.9%  3%  Swimming/Wading Pools  5.3% 
 Putters 4.9% 3%    

ABOUT SFIA:  The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visit www.sfia.org.

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