Shame on the Senate for undermining foreign trade negotiations while President is overseas

July 11, 2018, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting the U.S. Senate for voting 88 to 11 in favor of a “motion to instruct” by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) that would direct conferees on H.R. 5895 to include language that repeals Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962:

“The Senate should be ashamed of itself for passing what is nothing more than a show vote on the President’s trade policy at a time when the President is overseas negotiating with our foreign allies and competitors on those very trade issues. This deliberate attempt to undercut the President of the United States through a meaningless action meant to appease K Street benefactors is both irresponsible and reprehensible.

“It is particularly ironic that Senator Corker who gift-wrapped Obama’s Iran deal for the Democrat President is leading the charge to reimpose Smoot-Hawley-type Congressional control over the tariff system.

“As a historical reminder, Congressional control over tariffs limited the President’s capacity in the 1930s to adapt those tariffs to our national needs when there was a desire to reduce them. As a result, Congress delegated its power to raise or lower tariffs to the executive branch to avoid the need to get a filibuster-proof majority to rapidly conduct settlements to trade disputes. The United States cannot afford to have its trade policy run by 535 presidential wannabes.

“If Congress is truly interested in restoring Article I of the Constitution, the proper act would be for Congress to rescind fast track trade authority and instead subject trade deals to the treaty clause of the Constitution, as was the historical norm after the Constitution was ratified.”

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