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WashPost: Congress Must Take Back Trade

WashPost: Congress Must Take Back Trade
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By    |   Wednesday, 06 June 2018 07:46 AM

The Washington Post is calling for Congress to exercise control over trade.

"As it becomes increasingly apparent that President (Donald) Trump's imposition of tariffs on metal products from the United States' close allies is a strategic policy shift, and not a mere negotiating tactic, the question naturally arises: What, if anything, can be done to prevent it?" the newspaper said in an editorial.

The Post detailed allies' efforts to push back, including seeking "redress through legal action at the World Trade Organization."

"Yet, such efforts may well be costly for all concerned in the short run without succeeding in the long run," the newspaper said. "Mr. Trump is exploiting a ‘national security' loophole in international trade law to justify his tariffs, and international tribunals may have little choice but to defer to his sovereign determination in this regard, even if it's not in good faith.

"No, if there is going to be effective restraint placed on Mr. Trump's abuse of his authority in this area, it must come from the same body that delegated it to him in the first place: Congress."

The Post noted that Congress had passed the Trade Expansion Act in 1962 giving the president "power to negotiate tariff-setting agreements with other countries."

At the time, there was no thought given to a "president who would use the power to antagonize allies," the newspaper said.

"Now that we have such a president, the statute should be amended."

The editorial pointed out a bill by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, would require the Senate and House to "sign off on any ‘unilateral trade action' by the president." And it said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., plans to introduce a similar measure.

The newspaper called for Republican lawmakers to show "some independence and leadership" and exercise control.

And it said the Constitution clearly gives lawmakers the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations.

"It's time for Capitol Hill to take it back," the Post said.

Meanwhile, The Hill reported Republican support for legislation limiting Trump's authority to impose tariffs is growing.

It cited Corker's proposal and raised the possibility it could be added as an amendment to a must-pass legislation and make to it Trump's desk.

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The Washington Post is calling for Congress to exercise control over trade.
washpost, congress, trade
Wednesday, 06 June 2018 07:46 AM
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