Senate Calls for More Say on Tariffs in Bipartisan Vote - NBC 10 Philadelphia
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Senate Calls for More Say on Tariffs in Bipartisan Vote

"We have to rein in abuse of presidential authority and restore Congress' constitutional authority in this regard"

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Trump's Trade War With China Intensifies

    The Trump Administration is escalating its trade dispute with China after imposing $34 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports. China matched that number on U.S. goods, and now the U.S. is threatening $200 billion more, raising the specter of a full-blown trade war and higher prices for consumers. (Published Wednesday, July 11, 2018)

    Lawmakers went on record Wednesday to express their frustration with the Trump administration's growing use of tariffs as the Senate passed a nonbinding resolution designed to give Congress more say about trade penalties imposed in the name of national security.

    The measure, which passed by an 88-11 vote, directs Capitol Hill negotiators trying to reconcile separate spending bills to include language giving Congress a role when such tariffs are put in place.

    Those negotiators are free to ignore the Senate's guidance, and the role that Congress would play would have to be worked out down the road.

    Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who pushed the tariff language, acknowledged the effort is "a baby step."

    'Late Night’: A Closer Look at the ‘Law and Order’ President on Collusion

    [NATL] 'Late Night’: A Closer Look at the ‘Law and Order’ President on Collusion

    Seth Meyers takes a closer look at President Donald Trump defending himself against accusations of Russian collusion and defending his Supreme Court nominee against accusations of sexual assault.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 21, 2018)

    But Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said the vote amounted to a rebuke of President Donald Trump's use of a national security waiver to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

    "We have to rein in abuse of presidential authority and restore Congress' constitutional authority in this regard," Flake said.

    The administration on Tuesday ramped up its trade dispute with China by announcing a possible second round of tariffs targeting a $200 billion list of Chinese goods. The United States complains that China uses predatory practices to challenge American technological dominance. Chinese tactics, the administration says, include outright cybertheft and forcing U.S. companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

    The latest actions have fueled anxiety among lawmakers about a trade war that could hurt U.S. farmers and manufacturers. But the Senate resolution focused on a much narrower question: Should lawmakers have more say, or even final sign-off authority, before the president imposes tariffs on national security grounds?

    Corker's goal is to require congressional approval before such tariffs are enacted, but he has been unsuccessful in getting a vote on such a measure. He said Wednesday's vote tells him "that people believe (Trump) is abusing his authorities." Corker said he will keep pushing for stronger, binding legislation.

    The 11 senators who voted against the measure were Republicans from states where Trump has high approval ratings.

    'Late Night’: A Closer Look at GOP’s Defense of Kavanaugh

    [NATL] 'Late Night’: A Closer Look at GOP’s Defense of Kavanaugh

    Seth Meyers takes a closer look at President Donald Trump visiting North Carolina to survey damage from Hurricane Florence and Republicans making it clear they have no interest in hearing the truth about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018)

    Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., called on lawmakers to give the president "space" to negotiate better trade deals.

    "The president is taking a different approach, sometimes controversial, but I believe he's a pragmatist. I believe he wants only one thing for America, and that's results and a level playing field with the rest of the world," Perdue said. "We need to give him space to succeed for the American worker and for our American companies here at home."

    Still, the resolution's lack of teeth prompted even Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, to support it. Brown has been one of the most vocal supporters of Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. He said he would do everything in his power to defeat any efforts to rescind them, but said he agreed that Congress should have a role when the tariffs are determined.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged lawmakers to support Corker's resolution but also pass "actual legislation" requiring congressional consent for the tariffs. The National Retail Federation said the Senate action showed the "growing bipartisan concern over the administration's reckless trade agenda as the real-world consequences of tariffs spread in communities across the country, according to David French, a senior vice president.