Alexander to U.S. Trade Chief: Zero Tariff Policy Should Mean Early End to Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

Posted on July 26, 2018

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2018 — United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today told the United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that a zero tariff policy “should mean an early end to steel and aluminum tariffs” which Alexander said “are hurting Tennessee auto workers.”

“The president’s announcement of his zero tariffs goal is exactly the right direction for us to go. We don’t want to be building cars and trucks in Tennessee with steel that’s 40% more expensive because of our own tariffs tax on imported steel,” Alexander said.

“So the sooner we end this tariffs tax on ourselves, the better it is for the 136,000 Tennesseans who work in the automotive industry,” Alexander continued. “Just today, Ford and General Motors reported $300 million losses each in their second quarter earnings, much of which was attributed to the increase in the price of steel and aluminum.”

“Piling tariffs on top of tariffs with no end in sight is like shooting yourself in both feet at once. That’s why I was so pleased to see President Trump’s announcement yesterday that our long term policy is zero tariffs, zero subsidies and zero trade barriers. As far as I’m concerned and as far as most Tennesseans who work in manufacturing are concerned, the sooner this policy is implemented, the better.

Alexander made his remarks today at the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to review the FY2019 funding priorities for the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Click here and here to view Senator Alexander’s full exchange with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.