An alliance between globalist donors and pundits, the big business lobby, and a handful of Republican lawmakers are uniting to attempt to strip President Donald Trump of his powers to implement tariffs to protect American jobs and U.S. industry from unfair, foreign competition.
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) has introduced the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act in the House while GOP Senators like Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) have introduced similar legislation in the Senate that would force Trump’s national security tariffs to be approved through Congress — where Republicans and Democrats defend the free trade apparatus that is overwhelmingly supported by the majority of the donor class.
For example, Trump’s wildly successful tariffs on steel and aluminum imports — which have created or are expected to create close to 15,000 U.S. jobs — were implemented under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
The free trade legislation proposed by Gallagher, Toomey, and Sasse would require that Congress approve of such protective tariffs before their implementation.
Coalition for a Prosperous America CEO Michael Stumo told Breitbart News the legislation is merely an effort to ensure that job-killing free trade is not disrupted.
“The legislation is a thinly veiled attempt by globalists and the multinational import lobby to prevent the president from protecting our national security and economic security interests,” Stumo said.
Stumo told Breitbart News that Congress and multinational corporations are having “delegator’s remorse” after giving the executive branch authority to implement tariffs years ago to protect the American economy.
“The Washington consensus was protected by delegating to presidents who generally shared that view,” Stumo said. “Presidents would not take action against other countries on trade because of objections from State and Treasury, not to mention Commerce and USTR. Now that the plan isn’t working, they are futilely trying to prevent the president from using the authority they gave away in 1962, 1974 and in recent trade promotion authority bills.”
Supporting the plan to strip Trump of his tariff powers is an alliance of globalist donors, “Never Trump” pundits, business organizations, and corporate executives.
For instance, the Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, and the National Foreign Trade Council are spearheading efforts to push the legislation through Congress with the help of the billionaire Koch brothers‘ network of economic libertarian donors, as well as Never Trump neoconservative pundit Bill Kristol’s “Farmers for Free Trade” organization.
Meanwhile, popular economic nationalist organizations like the Alliance for American Manufacturing are urging Congress to block the free trade effort.
Trump’s tariffs on foreign steel have had an enormously positive impact on the American economy, especially for American workers. The most recent case has been the top U.S. steelmaker Nucor’s announcement that it will be building a new steel mill in the American Midwest that will create an initial 400 U.S. jobs and be fully operational by 2022.
Nucor is also looking to build an additional two “mini-mills” in the U.S. that produce steel rebar thanks to the tariffs.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.