Effort to Reform Section 232 Process Renewed

Date: February 12, 2019

MEMA has supported a renewed bipartisan, bicameral congressional effort to reform the process of using national security to impose tariffs on materials and products essential to the competitiveness of U.S. companies. The legislation calls for common-sense fixes to the Section 232 provision that currently allows the president to unilaterally impose tariffs citing national security. The legislation, if passed, would require the Department of Defense to investigate and justify the need for tariffs based on national security, and the Department of Commerce would be charged with developing a recommendation to the president on how to respond. Should the president impose tariffs, Congress would have an opportunity to vote on a disapproval resolution on the president’s actions.
The Senate bill was introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.). The House bill was introduced by Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.).

The legislation, if passed, will protect companies throughout the supply chain that rely on imported goods. These fixes, including additional congressional oversight and more responsibility for the Department of Defense, are appropriate and we congratulate these legislators for their efforts to remedy this problem.

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