America’s Main Street Businesses and Workers Need Bipartisan Renewal of Trade Bills

Reps. Brady, Buchanan host Republican Meeting examining tax increase of more than $450 million on small businesses due to Dems’ inaction on important trade programs
June 23, 2021 — Blog    — In Case You Missed It...    — Opening Statements    — Press Releases    — Roundtable    — Trade   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Republican Leader of the Trade Subcommittee Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) hosted a Republican Meeting with small businesses owners and manufacturers who are suffering because of the expiration of GSP and MTB – two job-creating trade programs.

 

Despite a long tradition of bipartisan support, Democrats have delayed taking up a bipartisan renewal of the trade programs, costing Main Street businesses more than $450 million in 2021 alone.

 

Rep. Brady said:

 

Democrats’ inaction on this issue has only added to the grief of Main Street businesses and manufacturers who are already struggling under a severe worker shortage, higher production costs, and the prospect of crippling tax hikes.

 

“The Biden Administration’s trade moratorium is compounding the suffering by putting America on the sidelines as others negotiate new agreements around the world. 

 

“I continue to urge the Administration to end its moratorium, and in the meantime Congress now must lead on trade by acting quickly to renew GSP and MTB.”

 

Rep. Buchanan said:

 

“…yesterday Republican Members of the Trade Subcommittee introduced a House companion to the bipartisan Senate agreement, negotiated by Senators Crapo and Wyden, on renewing GSP and MTB.

 

“This bill represents a bipartisan compromise that passed the Senate overwhelmingly—by a vote of 91-4.

We are certainly open to further discussions with our Democratic colleagues, but this bipartisan approach must serve as the framework for future discussions.  

 

“I was disappointed to see Ways and Means Committee Democrats move forward with partisan legislation to renew these programs that have historically received such strong bipartisan support.”

 

CLICK HERE to watch the Meeting.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

 

Republicans Are Fighting on Behalf of Main Street Businesses and America’s Workers:

  • Top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Rep. Buchanan introduced the Trade Preferences and American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act on Tuesday.
  • The bill would renew MTB and GSP – two vital trade programs that protect U.S. workers and small businesses.

 

CLICK HERE to read the full bill. 

 

 

READ: New Bill Helps Small Businesses Suffering Under Democrats’ Trade Moratorium

 

Democrats’ Delay is Hurting American Workers, Small Business, and Our Jobs Recovery:

 

  • Democrats’ delay of renewing these two key trade programs that support high-paying jobs in every state has already cost American businesses over $450 million.
  • Further delay will cost even more—including jobs to American workers and families.

 

Renewal of These Pro-Jobs Programs Can and Should be Bipartisan:

 

  • The 2018 MTB passed the House by a unanimous recorded vote of 402-0 and the 2018 GSP renewal passed the House by a 400-2 margin, without a single House Democrat voting against either program.

 

CLICK HERE to watch Rep. Brady’s opening remarks.

 

CLICK HERE to watch Rep. Buchanan’s opening remarks.

 

Rep. Brady’s opening remarks as prepared appear below.

 

Thank you all for joining us today, and thank you to Congressman Buchanan for leading this roundtable discussion with me. 

 

We’re here today to share with you all exactly what it takes to get trade policy done on the Hill.

 

Republicans of the Ways and Means Committee have always emphasized the need for bipartisanship, intensive consultation, and transparency when it comes to trade. 

 

This is the approach we took when we passed the USMCA. 

 

Through bipartisan effort – with all sides sitting down at the negotiating table – Congress was able to tackle major disagreements and deliver solutions to the American people. 

 

And now again, I am eager to work with each of you – as well as our colleagues across the aisle – to benefit American workers and families through our trade policies.

 

One opportunity where we have a chance to lead on this issue is to renew the General System of Preference (GSP) and the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB). 

 

Wrongfully, these important programs were allowed to lapse at the start of 2021, and American job creators and workers are hurting as a result.

 

The lapse of the GSP has cost our producers an extra $308 million in tariffs from January through April with $24 million of that coming from my home state of Texas alone.

 

The delay in MTB costs American businesses another $150 million – a total of more than $450 million. That’s unacceptable, and we’ve got to get going.

 

Democrats’ inaction on this issue has only added to the grief of Main Street businesses and manufacturers who are already struggling under a severe worker shortage, higher production costs, and the prospect of crippling tax hikes.

 

The Biden Administration’s trade moratorium is compounding the suffering by putting America on the sidelines as others negotiate new agreements around the world. 

 

I continue to urge the Administration to end its moratorium, and in the meantime Congress now must lead on trade by acting quickly to renew GSP and MTB.

 

Bipartisan action is needed to address this lapse, which is why I am thrilled to announce that yesterday Leader Buchanan and I  led Ways and Means Republicans in introducing legislation to right this wrong and provide relief to our country’s small businesses.

 

This legislation improves and reauthorizes two programs, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) while also extending the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (AMCA) to pave the way for two future cycles of the MTB.

 

First, the reauthorized GSP will promote important U.S. priorities around the world, including human rights, the environment, women’s economic empowerment, the rule of law and digital trade free of unjustified government restrictions. 

 

All of these provisions are based on extensive bipartisan work, including in USMCA and the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

 

Second, the reauthorized MTB will provide limited duty relief on certain manufacturing imports that do not have significant domestic production in the U.S., but are nonetheless essential raw materials for American-made products.

 

Finally, the reauthorized AMCA gives the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) authority for their essential work for two more cycles.

 

This is bipartisan legislation. A Senate amendment containing these programs passed with 91 votes in support, and in 2018 House Democrats joined us in renewing both the MTB and GSP which each received more than 400 votes in support.

 

When Congress passed USMCA, we laid the framework for major bipartisan trade legislation. As a result, the American people benefit everyday from policies that keep products made in the USA and put more money in average Americans’ pockets.

 

Reauthorization of these programs is a very practical exercise of getting real relief for our manufacturers and small businesses that are experiencing an unnecessary tax hike because of expiration of these programs.

 

This bill has reached bipartisan compromises on the key issues and I’m very open to bipartisan suggestions on how to improve this bill and get these programs renewed right away.

 

We have an opportunity to take bipartisan action to reauthorize these needed programs. Doing so helps keep jobs here at home. Failing to act will only slow down our economic recovery.

 

Rep. Buchanan’s opening remarks as prepared appear below.

 

Thank you, Ranking Member Brady, for organizing this important meeting and for your remarks.  

 

I wholeheartedly agree that Congress must act quickly, without delay, to renew these important job-creating programs.  

 

As we’ll hear from our witnesses today, the cost of delay is substantial. 

 

That is why yesterday Republican Members of the Trade Subcommittee introduced a House companion to the bipartisan Senate agreement, negotiated by Senators Crapo and Wyden, on renewing GSP and MTB.

 

This bill represents a bipartisan compromise that passed the Senate overwhelmingly—by a vote of 91-4.

 

We are certainly open to further discussions with our Democratic colleagues, but this bipartisan approach must serve as the framework for future discussions.

 

I was disappointed to see Ways and Means Committee Democrats move forward with partisan legislation to renew these programs that have historically received such strong bipartisan support.

 

In 2018, the MTB passed the House by a unanimous recorded vote of 402-0 and GSP passed the House by a vote of 400-2.  Not a single Democrat voted against renewal of either program.

 

I hope we can move forward on a bipartisan basis, using the Senate approach as a framework, to quickly extend these important programs.  Delay is costly.