Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FY21 Omnibus Appropriation combined with an important COVID-19 relief package. The Senate is expected to pass the measure shortly, with it to be signed by the President before midnight. The USMCA technical correction legislation was added to this package and includes restoration of the post importation refund of the merchandise processing fee (MPF).
This action corrects a mistake in the USMCA implementing bill that inadvertently eliminated the right to a refund of the MPF. MEMA members and other manufacturers were eligible for a refund of this customs user fee under NAFTA and continued to have with every other free trade agreement.
The MPF fix was a critical priority for the supplier members of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). MEMA President and CEO Bill Long offered the following comments on this positive development:
“We are very pleased that the MPF refund fix was included in the FY 21 Omnibus Appropriations and COVID 19 bill. MEMA fought hard for this vital refund, and our members worked with Congress for months to make this happen. This means that vehicle parts suppliers will again receive this customs fee refund after a product is imported from Canada and Mexico. Our industry is facing a time of economic difficulty and challenges in implementing complex new USMCA motor vehicle part rule of origin provisions. This change will benefit the bottom line of each MEMA member that imports from USMCA nations during this time of a significant liquidity crunch resulting from our national public health crisis.
MEMA particularly wants to thank Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), Ways and Means Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX), and Finance Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and their excellent staffs for their leadership in bringing this over the finish line this year. Thanks also to our many vehicle parts champions on the Hill who worked very hard on this issue including Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), Rep. Jackie Walorksi (R-IN), Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) and Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI). We could not have done this without all your efforts.”