Reps. Kind, Gallagher, and Beyer Introduce the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act

Press Release

By: Ron Kind
By: Ron Kind
Date: Aug. 5, 2022
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Trade

Today, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and Don Beyer (D-VA) introduced the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act. This bipartisan legislation would require the president to submit to Congress any proposal to adjust imports in the interest of national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

"The previous administration's misguided use of Section 232 tariffs threatened our nation's standing abroad and the success of Wisconsin workers, families, and farmers," said Rep. Ron Kind. "We need to make sure there are more guardrails in place for future administrations and assert the trade authorities that belong to the Legislative branch as stated by the Constitution. The Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act would do just that by requiring administrations to provide evidence of national security threats and secure Congressional approval for Section 232 tariffs moving forward."

"From spending to trade, congress has surrendered too many authorities to the executive branch. This bill helps reverse that trend by restoring Congress' voice in the tariff process, particularly when it comes to what constitutes actual threats to our national security under Section 232," said Rep. Mike Gallagher. "I'm proud to support this bipartisan, bicameral legislation that will better focus trade enforcement while reasserting Congress' Article I trade responsibilities."

"Section 232 national security tariffs have historically been imposed sparingly and strategically. The previous administration's wanton use of this unilateral authority showed the need for Congress to reassert its constitutional prerogatives to provide oversight of U.S. trade relations. This legislation will ensure that future administrations do not abuse national security authorities to impose tariffs without clear objectives and without Congressional approval. Tariffs are a powerful tool to combat unfair trade practices, but they impose significant costs on American consumers. Congress must have the ability to weigh in on any future 232 trade actions," said Rep. Don Beyer.

Under this bill, Members of Congress have a 60-day period following submission to review the president's proposal. A joint resolution to approve the proposal would qualify for expedited consideration in both chambers. The requirement would apply to all future Section 232 actions, in addition to those taken within the last four years. The bill would restore the national security intent behind Section 232 by transferring national security investigatory authority from the Department of Commerce to the Department of the Defense.