More than 270 US national, state and local business groups have urged members of the US Senate to support a legislation that would compel President Donald Trump to get congressional approval before imposing tariffs on the grounds of national security.”We are writing to support legislation (S. 3013) by Senator Corker and a bipartisan group of senators to require the President to submit to Congress any proposal to raise tariffs in the interest of national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962,” the business groups wrote in an open letter to all senators on Tuesday. The U.S. business and agriculture communities are “deeply concerned” that the president’s “unrestricted” use of section 232 to impose tariffs may not be in the national interest, the letter said.
“It is now also increasingly clear that the way the steel and aluminum tariffs have been used will result in retaliatory tariffs from our largest trading partners and closest allies, and that retaliation will have serious negative economic impacts on the United States,” said the business groups.
The letter came after the Trump administration unilaterally imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in the name of national security, which provoked strong opposition from the domestic business community and retaliatory measures from U.S. major trading partners.”While the President should still have this type of authority (to impose tariffs), the current circumstances highlight the need for Congress to ensure that the authority will be used, as intended by the Congress, in the overall national interest,” they argued, urging all members of the Senate to support the legislation. Signatories of the letter include the US Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, National Foreign Trade Council, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, and American Association of Exporters and Importers.
Senator Bob Corker introduced this month the bill would require Congress to approve or reject any new tariffs the president imposes based on national security concerns.