Editor’s note: CPA opposes Sen. Bob Corker’s attempt to block the 232 national security tariffs on steel and aluminum. We support Sen Sherrod Brown’s blocking of the Corker legislation as reported in this article.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Tuesday blocked Sen. Bob Corker’s (R-TN) push to attach an amendment to a new farm bill that would compel the administration to obtain congressional approval before imposing tariffs under the auspices of national security.
[Brett Fortnam | June 27, 2018 | Inside US Trade]
Corker’s amendment, which would revise Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, would also give Congress the opportunity to vote down the global steel and aluminum tariffs the Trump administration imposed in March. Corker unsuccessfully attempted to attach his legislation to the National Defense Authorization Act earlier this month.
Brown blocked Corker’s unanimous consent request, claiming that the amendment would jeopardize the passage of the farm bill, strip the administration of a needed trade enforcement tool and, ultimately, help China.
“The amendment would gut — most importantly it would gut one of our trade enforcement tools, a tool Congress passed and enhanced in the Finance Committee just in the last couple of years — passed to ensure we protect the industries necessary to defend our country,” Brown said on the Senate floor.
“I know my colleague from Tennessee generally opposes the president’s trade agenda,” he continued. “I think he does that from an intellectually honest position. But that is not justification for completely undoing a decades-old statute that is one of the few tools we have to defend national security interests against distortions in the global market.”