Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) is looking to expand President Trump’s tariff authority, granting the president the power to impose reciprocal tariffs on specific foreign imports.
Duffy’s legislation, the United States Reciprocal Trade Act, gives Trump the power to raise tariffs on specific foreign products if those countries’ tariffs are much higher on the same U.S. product.
Duffy notes in a draft version of the legislation, obtained by Politico, that Trump “should have a wide array of tools to open the markets of United States trading partners … including the authority to adjust tariff rates to reciprocal levels.”
“So the president doesn’t have the greatest tools to make sure, not just free trade but fair trade, I’m going to drop a bill, the Reciprocal Trade Act, which will allow the president to say, ‘Europe, you have a ten percent tariff on our autos and we only have a 2.5 percent tariff on your autos,’ we’re going to give the president the authority to raise our tariff to ten percent to match the European auto tariff,” Duffy told Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs.
A source told Politico that White House trade adviser Peter Navarro — a fierce defender of American workers — is pushing the reciprocal tariff legislation in the administration and on Capitol Hill.
Duffy said the expansion of tariff authority is ultimately “about the American worker” and the protection of American industry from multilateral free trade agreements.
“This is about the American worker,” Duffy continued. “Let’s make sure that we can produce products and sell them around the world without one hand tied behind our backs.”
“Instead of letting the rest of the world block us because of their tariffs and then come to our markets and sell and compete against our workers,” Duffy said. “It’s absolutely unfair. We’re going to give the president the tools necessary to not just fight, but win the war for the American worker.”
Already, Trump has imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a ten percent tariff on aluminum imports, both of which have generated at least 11,100 U.S. jobs as of last year. Trump’s enactment of the ten percent tariff on imported aluminum, alone, has primary aluminum producers on track to create 1,075 American jobs and downstream producers to create more than 2,000 jobs in the industry.
As Breitbart News has extensively reported, between 2001 and 2017, the U.S.-China trade deficit was responsible for the loss of 3.4 million American jobs. The vast majority of jobs lost from free trade with China have been in the U.S. manufacturing sector, making up 74.4 percent of all jobs lost and amounting to 2.5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs lost. This total of jobs lost also includes the 1.3 million American jobs lost since 2008.