Amendment enhances Congressional oversight of potential tariffs before they go into effect
Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and Washington U.S. Senator Patty Murray today filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to reverse the May 31 tariffs President Trump imposed on all steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and European Union countries.
“The tariffs that President Trump imposed target our allies, do nothing to stop China from undercutting American steel workers, and subject Colorado’s farmers and families to potential retaliation,” said Bennet. “Congress has provided the president tools to address unfair trade practices that hurt American workers, but these tools should not be used to start a reckless trade war with our closest allies.”
“Trump’s escalating trade war will hurt growers, the economy, and families across the country who could see the costs of everyday goods go up,” said Murray. “While we can and should recognize there is a problem with the overcapacity and oversupply of steel and aluminum from bad actors, President Trump’s reckless, scattershot approach is threatening relationships with our allies and jeopardizing American exports. Instead of alienating our allies, we should do what we can to strengthen our relationships and work together to address unfair trade.”
The Bennet and Murray amendment restores tariff rates on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and European Union countries to levels that prevailed prior to the President’s action. It does not change the authority delegated to the President under existing trade enforcement laws, allowing President Trump and future presidents to use trade enforcement tools to address global overcapacity issues in steel and other industries and to impose tariffs for national security reasons, when justified. The amendment adds a requirement for the Secretary of Commerce to consult with the Secretary of State and Director of National Intelligence – in addition to the Secretary of Defense – on the national security implications of any proposed tariffs before they go into effect. It also enhances Congressional oversight by requiring additional consultation with Congress before an administration imposes remedies based on national security.