Reichert, Brady, and Over 100 House Republicans Urge President Trump to Avoid Broad Tariffs

Mar 8, 2018 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Tax Policy, Trade

Washington, DC - House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA), Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), and more than 100 House Republicans today expressed concerns that broad tariffs could harm America’s workers, manufacturers, and consumers.

Rep. Reichert gave the following statement on the letter and recent call for tariffs:

“I am deeply concerned about the potential for broad-based tariffs on steel and aluminum and what this would mean for American manufacturers and consumers," said Rep. Reichert. "Last year, we passed a landmark achievement - we updated our tax code to strengthen our economy and the competitiveness of American workers and businesses. Imposing broad tariffs would undermine the pro-growth environment we worked hard to create. I share the President’s goal of addressing overcapacity and unfair trade practices, but we need a narrow, targeted approach that will not hurt our workers and businesses. I hope the President will carefully consider the negative consequences of broad tariffs and adopt an approach that targets unfair trade while supporting the competitiveness of American workers and businesses and their ability to sell their products all over the globe.”

In the letter to the President, the lawmakers wrote:

“We are writing to express deep concern about the prospect of broad, global tariffs on aluminum and steel imports.  Because tariffs are taxes that make U.S. businesses less competitive and U.S. consumers poorer, any tariffs that are imposed should be designed to address specific distortions caused by unfair trade practices in a targeted way while minimizing negative consequences on American businesses and consumers.

“We were privileged to partner closely with you and your administration to develop and pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Your leadership on these tax cuts, in combination with your regulatory reforms, have done so much to increase the competitiveness of U.S. companies and restore the United States’ position as the best place in the world to do business.  We are convinced that the benefits of these tax cuts are only beginning, and we look forward to building on this great success as the benefits continue to spread to U.S. workers and job creators.  But adding new taxes in the form of broad tariffs would undermine this remarkable progress.

The lawmakers outlined several recommendations to hold countries accountable without disrupting the flow of fairly traded products that American manufacturers rely on:

We support your resolve to address distortions caused by China’s unfair practices, and we are committed to acting with you and our trading partners on meaningful and effective action.  But we urge you to reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences to the U.S. economy and its workers.  We are eager to work with you in pursuing a workable, targeted approach that achieves our shared goal.”

To see the full text of the letter, click here.