Alexander: President Trump’s “No Tariffs” Solution Deserves More Attention

Posted on July 25, 2018

“In the meantime, the bill we are introducing today would delay the administration’s proposed 25 percent tariff on automobiles and automotive parts imported into the United States until the President has a second opinion from the International Trade Commission about the effect those tariffs would have on the more than 7 million jobs in the American automotive industry.”


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Click on the above photo to view Sen. Alexander discussing the President’s tariffs and the Automotive Jobs Act

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2018 — United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said, while introducing bipartisan legislation to delay the administration’s proposed 25 percent tariffs on imported automobiles and auto parts, that President Trump’s “no tariffs” solution would be better for American workers and deserves more attention.

“The president has gotten the world’s attention with his tariffs, but what deserves more attention is his long-term solution – zero tariffs, zero barriers, which is, as the president said at the G7 summit in June, ‘the way it should be.’ Taking steps in the direction of reciprocity—insisting that other countries do for us what we do for them—rather than a trade war, will be much better for the American worker,’ Alexander said. “In the meantime, the bill we are introducing today would delay the administration’s proposed 25 percent tariff on automobiles and automotive parts imported into the United States until the President has a second opinion from the International Trade Commission about the effect those tariffs would have on the more than 7 million jobs in the American automotive industry. About 136,000 of those auto jobs are in Tennessee, one third of our state’s manufacturing jobs.”

Alexander made his remarks today on the Senate floor after introducing The Automotive Jobs Act with Senator Doug Jones of Alabama, which would freeze the Commerce Department’s 232 investigation on imported automobiles and automotive parts until the International Trade Commission studies and reports on the impact on jobs in the American automotive industry.

Alexander said: “Piling tariffs on top of tariffs with no end in sight is a trade war and it will hurt American workers. But the basis of the president’s solution is reciprocity—a word he’s used many times, which means, when it comes to trade, other countries should do for us what we do for them. Taking steps in the direction of reciprocity, rather than a trade war, will be much better for the American worker.”

Alexander told the story of Broil-King, a manufacturer of gas grills with a plant in Dickson that employs 300 Tennesseans. Tariffs have raised the cost of the steel and aluminum Broil King uses to make grills, the company faces retaliatory tariffs on its grills sold in Canada and Europe, and also faces tariffs on certain parts it imports from China to make its grills.

“This is what happens to one small company—that employs over 300 Tennesseans and buys its steel and aluminum from U.S. suppliers—when we begin piling tariffs on top of tariffs with no end in sight. That’s called a trade war,” Alexander said.

The senators’ legislation requires the International Trade Commission (ITC) to conduct a comprehensive study of the well-being, health, and vitality of the United States automotive industry before tariffs could be applied. The ITC will be required to deliver the report to Congress and is to include policy recommendations based on the study. Under this legislation, these tariffs cannot be applied until the report is delivered.

Click here to watch Senator Alexander’ floor speech.

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