ICYMI: Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, New Dem Trade Task Force Successfully Call for Temporary Tariff Relief for Businesses During COVID-19
Washington, April 22, 2020 | Rocio Cruz
(Washington, DC) – Following an effort by Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) and members of the New Democrat Coalition (NDC) to defer import duty payments due this week and help provide relief for businesses during COVID-19, the Trump administration deferred the collection of import duty payments for 90 days.
Congresswoman Fletcher, Co-Chair of the NDC Trade Task Force, joined fellow Co-Chairs Ron Kind (WI-03) and Gregory Meeks (NY-05), as well as NDC Vice Chair Suzan K. DelBene (WA-01), in a letter sent over the weekend to Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow. Monthly duty payments were originally due earlier this week.
Politico reports: “Four top members of the centrist New Democrat Coalition sent a letter Saturday to chief White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow urging the administration to defer import duty payments to help companies struggling with cash flow because of the coronavirus pandemic. They complained that Kudlow's explanation that the administration won’t defer payments because the issue is “too complicated” was “completely unacceptable,” given the current circumstances.”
The full text of the Politico article can be found here and below:
Politico: Trump grants some temporary tariff relief, but not for Chinese goods
Just days before American companies are set to pay another big batch of tariffs, President Donald Trump on Sunday night authorized Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to defer the collection of some import duty payments for 90 days.
“By postponing the deadline to deposit certain duties, taxes, and fees for 90 days, we are providing much-needed relief to affected businesses,” Mnuchin said in a statement. “This will protect American jobs and help these businesses get through this time."
Importers and business groups have been pleading for weeks for some kind of tariff relief amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The order does not apply to duties Trump imposed on China and the European Union using Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act, steel and aluminum tariffs applied under Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act and washer and solar duties under Section 201 of the 1974 Trade Act. It also does not apply to anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
"The Secretary shall consider taking appropriate action under section 1318(a) of title 19, United States Code, to temporarily extend deadlines, for importers suffering significant financial hardship because of COVID-19, for the estimated payments described therein," Trump said in the order.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection circulated a notice on Sunday evening saying Mnuchin would delay tariff payments for 90 days on the remaining items, beginning on Monday.
"No interest will accrue for the postponed payment of such estimated duties, taxes, and fees during this 90-day postponement period. No penalty, liquidated damages, or other sanction will be imposed for the postponed payment of the deposit of estimated duties, taxes, and fees in accordance with this temporary postponement," the CBP notice said.
"This payment flexibility will be available only for importers with a significant financial hardship and will apply to payments for goods imported in March and April," CBP said in a separate statement.
The action comes just before tariff payments are due on Tuesday.
Four top members of the centrist New Democrat Coalition sent a letter Saturday to chief White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow urging the administration to defer import duty payments to help companies struggling with cash flow because of the coronavirus pandemic. They complained that Kudlow's explanation that the administration won’t defer payments because the issue is “too complicated” was “completely unacceptable,” given the current circumstances.
“It is time for this Administration to step up to the plate on this issue,” Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas) and Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) wrote.