Reps. Kind, Gallagher, and Beyer: Introduce the Bicameral Trade Authority Act of Congress

washington d.c. – Today, Representative Ron Kind (D-WI), Mike Gallagher (R-WI)and Don Beyer (D-VA) introduced the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act. This bipartisan legislation would require the president to submit to Congress any proposal to adjust imports in the interest of national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

“The previous administration’s misuse of Section 232 tariffs threatened our nation’s standing abroad and the success of Wisconsin workers, families and farmers,” said Representative Ron Kind. “We need to ensure that there are more guardrails in place for future administrations and affirm the commercial authorities that belong to the legislative branch, as stipulated in the Constitution. The bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act would do just that by requiring administrations to provide evidence of national security threats and seek Congressional approval for Section 232 tariffs in the future.

“From spending to trade, Congress has ceded too much power to the executive branch. This bill helps reverse that trend by restoring the voice of Congress in the tariff process, particularly regarding what pose real threats to our national security under Section 232,” said Representative Mike Gallagher. “I’m proud to support this bipartisan, bicameral legislation that will place greater emphasis on trade enforcement while reaffirming Congress’s Article I trade responsibilities.”

“Section 232 national security tariffs have always been imposed sparingly and strategically. The previous administration’s gratuitous use of this unilateral authority demonstrated the need for Congress to reassert its constitutional prerogatives to provide oversight of US commercial relations. This legislation will ensure that future administrations do not abuse national security authorities to impose tariffs without clear objectives and without congressional approval. Tariffs are a powerful tool to combat unfair trade practices, but they impose significant costs on US consumers. Congress must have the ability to weigh in on future 232 trade actions,” said Representative Don Beyer.

Under this bill, members of Congress have 60 days after submission to consider the president’s proposal. A joint resolution to approve the proposal would qualify for expedited consideration in both chambers. The requirement would apply to all future Section 232 actions, in addition to those taken in the past four years. The bill would restore the national security intent behind Section 232 by transferring national security investigative authority from the Department of Commerce to the Department of Defense.

Read the bipartisan bill here.

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