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Grassley says he wants to rein in Trump tariff powers

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyOn The Money: Treasury announces efforts to help people get stimulus payments | Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury | Judge sets ground rules for release of Trump taxes Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury Finance Committee vote on Yellen nomination scheduled for Friday MORE (R-Iowa) said Wednesday that he wanted to advance legislation reining in presidential authority on tariffs in 2020.

“That's been a goal of mine and is still a goal,” Grassley said of legislation to reform section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, which President TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 MORE has used to impose major tariffs on close U.S. trade partners.

Section 232 gives the president authority to impose tariffs for national security purposes. Trump’s trade critics accused him of abusing the authority by imposing steep steel and aluminum tariffs on U.S. allies such as Canada, Mexico, the European Union and Japan.

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Trump later scrapped the tariffs on Canada and Mexico after they agreed to an updated North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump has also threatened to use the authority to impose tariffs on automobile imports from the European Union and Japan.

Grassley has long discussed imposing congressional oversight on section 232 authority, and said he thought there was enough will to advance legislation this year.

“It may be just the committee working its will, but I think that there’s enough desire in my committee to do something about 232,” he said Wednesday.

“I think as far as my committee is concerned, 232 is the best we could do in legislation,” he added.

Grassley noted that he had yet to discuss the prospect with the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Intelligence agency gathers US smartphone location data without warrants, memo says | Democrats seek answers on impact of Russian hack on DOJ, courts | Airbnb offers Biden administration help with vaccine distribution Intelligence agency gathers US smartphone location data without warrants, memo says Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury MORE (Ore.).

Last month, Wyden said he was open to working out a response.

“I am all for putting some guardrails in this administration’s unpredictable and chaotic trade policy. We haven’t been able to find the solution yet, but I am ready to continue to work with the chairman to find a legislative solution that will garner wide bipartisan support,” he said.