Ways and Means sets hearing on Trump's tariffs

Ways and Means sets hearing on Trump's tariffs
© Greg Nash

The House Ways and Means Committee announced on Thursday that it will hold a hearing on the economic effects of President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence MORE's tariffs on a wide range of imports.

Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyFive things to know about the November jobs report Economic growth rate slows to 2 percent as delta derails recovery Democratic retirements could make a tough midterm year even worse MORE (R-Texas) said that on April 12 his panel will delve into the how the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and duties aimed at hundreds of Chinese products will affect U.S. businesses and consumers.

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"In enforcing our trade laws, we should always take a targeted approach to address unfair practices while avoiding harm to U.S. workers and job creators,” Brady said in a statement.

The Trump administration is imposing tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum on countries such as China, Japan and Russia under a Section 232 trade law used to protect national security.

Six nations, including Canada and Mexico, and the 28-member European Union are currently exempt from the tariffs during reviews of their policies.

The president also has proposed 25 percent tariffs on 1,300 Chinese products from aerospace to communications under the Section 301 trade provision over alleged intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers.

China retaliated this week against both batches of tariffs, specifically targeting U.S. agriculture.

Beijing said it would impose $3 billion in tariffs on U.S. exports in response to the steel and aluminum duties.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Wednesday that there is “no basis under [World Trade Organization] rules for China’s decision this week to raise tariffs against over $3 billion in U.S. exports."

Then China put in motion a plan to hit 106 U.S. products with 25 percent tariffs including soybeans, cars and airplanes totaling about $50 billion in retaliation to the Section 301 actions by Trump.

Trump administration officials say they are urging China to make changes to its trade policies and avoid the steep tariffs on their goods.

Without changes the tariffs would go into effect.

"The best response would be for them to change their behavior and live up to all the pledges they made in the past," a U.S. Trade Representative official said on Wednesday. 

The Ways and Means hearing will feature witnesses from the private sector who will discuss the effects of the tariff increases on their businesses, including product and country coverage of the tariffs, the process to comment on and apply for exclusions from the tariffs and the effects of possible retaliation on U.S. exporters.

“As we continue to work with the administration to build off the success of President Trump’s tax cuts and regulatory reform, I am committed to listening to U.S. job creators every step of the way to make sure we make all appropriate adjustments to avoid unintended negative consequences to the U.S. economy,” Brady said.