Statement on Bipartisan Bills to ‘Restore Common Sense’ to Section 232 Process

(Washington, D.C.) –Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, the bipartisan campaign representing over 150 trade associations from across industries, today released the following statement on two recent bipartisan bills that would curtail executive authority to unilaterally impose Section 232 tariffs.

“It’s long past time to restore common sense to the process of slapping tariffs on our trading partners, especially at a time when those tariffs are hitting our allies. The bills recently introduced represent important and necessary checks on Section 232 authority that’s increasingly being abused under the administration. Providing congressional oversight would help limit the likelihood that the critical imports that American businesses, consumers and farmers rely on are wrongly targeted as ‘national security threats.’ It should also be a stern message to the administration that Section 232 tariffs on autos would be a colossal mistake, and that the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico must end.

“While we are encouraged by the momentum behind these bills, curbing section 232 abuse will not by itself end the trade war. Americans are also reeling from the tariffs on China and retaliation that has followed. This week, over one hundred businesses, farmers, retailers and manufacturers are on Capitol Hill to pressure members of Congress to take action to end those tariffs and to emphasize the urgency of avoiding tariff escalation on March 1. The legislation we’ve seen this week is a great step forward, and this bipartisan group of lawmakers should be applauded for their leadership. However, ending the trade war will require the administration to develop a more strategic approach through continued negotiations, finally take the threat of new tariffs off the table and put an end to the tariffs that are hurting Americans right now.”

  • On January 30, U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA), Mark Warner (D-VA) and numerous bipartisan senators introduced the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act. The bill has also been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Ron Kind (D-WI). 
  • Yesterday, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) joined with bipartisan colleagues to introduce the Trade Security Act. The bill has also been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Darrin LaHood (R-IL).