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ICYMI: Congress should bring balance to U.S. tariff policy

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ICYMI: Congress should bring balance to U.S. tariff policy

01.22.19 12:46 PM

Americans for Prosperity Senior Policy Fellow Alison Acosta Winters | The Hill As the trade talks with China*continue, administration officials are reportedly pursuing legislation that would expand the president’s authority to impose tariffs. The U.S. Reciprocal Trade Act would*empower the president to raise tariffs on individual products if he determines that any of our trading partners have imposed higher tariffs than we have imposed on their products. … Although the*U.S. Constitution*grants Congress the “Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises” and the right “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations,” Congress has delegated much of that power to the president – from negotiating free trade agreements to unilaterally imposing tariffs – over the past century. … The result is a policy that is taxing billions of dollars’ worth of imported goods without an adequate check and balance by the Congress. These tariffs hurt the American people, raising costs on basic goods, squeezing small businesses, and provoking retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports. Tariffs also give government officials the power to*pick*winners and losers. Since trade laws allow for affected companies to file for exemptions, they effectively*double down*on a “Washington knows best” approach; unelected bureaucrats are empowered to choose who gets […]

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