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ICYMI: Neal Should Seize Opportunities to Remove Barriers to Trade for American People

Feb 15, 2019 by AFP

Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips | Morning Consult

Now that the 116th Congress has convened, we have a new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee: U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.). …

As chairman of the committee with trade oversight, Neal has the opportunity to help remove those burdens and increase opportunities that will make life better for all Americans. We hope he does just that, and here are two recommendations to that end. First: Fight all unfair tariffs and trade barriers; and second: Work to restore to Congress some of the constitutional authority on tariffs that Congress granted to the president.

First, we call on Neal to stand firm for his constituents against all unfair tariffs and trade barriers.

Neal’s home state of Massachusetts is already seeing the impact. The Trump administration’s tariffs begat retaliatory levies from China on our seafood exports. Lobster distributor Stephanie Nadeua said: “They’ve taken our business, and I don’t know how we’ll ever get it back. The longer this goes on, the more difficult it will make it for us to resume our relationship with our customers.”

Continued prosperity and innovation here at home means we must expand opportunities for American businesses and entrepreneurs around the world. Neal and his colleagues should work with the administration, not only on lifting trade barriers, but also on pursuing mutually beneficial trade agreements with key U.S. trading partners such as the United Kingdom, Japan and Taiwan.

Second, Neal should lead congressional efforts to reclaim tariff authority that Congress delegated to the executive branch. During the last session of Congress, legislation was proposed to restore to Congress some of the authority granted to it under Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution that, “Congress shall have Power … To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations.”

Tariffs are taxes on American consumers and producers, and, like all federal taxes, they should face an up-or-down vote in Congress before taking effect. …

As chairman of Ways and Means, Neal can play a critical role to generate bipartisan support for trade policies that grow our economy and improve lives. That means fighting to lift trade barriers and restoring Congress to its rightful leadership role on tariffs. 

Click here to read the full op-ed.

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