Jul 18, 2018

Freedom Partners and Grassroots Allies Support Bill Strengthening Congressional Authority Over National Security-Designated Tariffs

Post by Freedom Partners

Arlington, VA – Freedom Partners, Americans for Prosperity, and The LIBRE Initiative sent a joint letter to U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher in support of H.R. 6337, a bill that would require congressional approval before the president implements national security-designated tariffs.

Read the full letter here.

The letter comes ahead of a U.S. Department of Commerce public hearing on the national security impact of automobile and automotive parts imports.

Freedom Partners Executive Vice President Nathan Nascimento issued the following statement:

“Congressman Gallagher’s legislation deserves support from lawmakers because it is vital for Congress to have a role in closely scrutinizing new tariffs. Gallagher’s bill would ensure an appropriate balance between the legislative and executive branches when considering new trade barriers, consistent with Congress’ constitutional authority.

 

“Tariffs, including those on automobiles and automotive parts, amount to a tax on American businesses and consumers – one that regresses much of the economic growth the administration has spurred through tax-and-regulatory reforms. They impose self-inflicted damage to our economy by raising prices and restricting supplies for consumers and businesses while threatening American jobs.”

Background:

H.R. 6337 would ensure that any new trade barriers, such as tariffs, under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 are subject to an expedited up-or-down vote by Congress before they can take effect. It would also give Congress an opportunity to weigh in on tariffs imposed over the last two years. The bill is a companion to the motion led by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker that instructs conferees to include language giving Congress greater authority on tariffs in the 2019 Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act (H.R. 5895).

The administration has proposed applying tariffs up to 25 percent on vehicles and parts imported into the U.S. Major U.S. trading partners including the European Union, China and Japan voiced concern at the World Trade Organization on Tuesday about the possibility of an escalating “tit-for-tat” trade war that would cause an increase in the prices of American cars both globally and domestically.

Freedom Partners Trade Principles:

  • Individuals, businesses, and countries should be free to engage in the voluntary exchange of goods and services, which improves lives by growing the economy, increasing pay checks, and creating new and better jobs.
  • Individuals and businesses in a competitive market, not government bureaucrats or politicians, should guide trade decisions.
  • Punitive measures such as tariffs and quotas harm most consumers, workers, and businesses and should be eliminated.
  • Subsidies and other forms of government supports for powerful and politically connected businesses and industries do not create value. They punish consumers, insulate businesses from market competition, and should be eliminated.
  • Trade disputes should be resolved through existing international trade agreements and organizations.
  • While national security interests may be a consideration in trade policy, they should be used to restrict trade only when there is truly a narrow national security interest at stake, not as a work around to impose tariffs.

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