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U.S. Industry Coalition Calls on Lawmakers to Exercise Congressional Oversight on Trump Administration

In a letter dated 9 January, the multi-industry coalition Americans for Free Trade urged all new members of the 116th Congress to ensure the legislative body exercises its “ oversight role on trade policy matters to prevent further harm to U.S. workers, consumers, and families that will result from both the existing and proposed tariffs.” The coalition opposes the Section 232 tariffs currently in place on steel and aluminium imports and the Section 301 tariffs on a broad range of products from mainland China, as well as any attempts by the Trump administration to raise the Section 301 tariffs on some US$250 billion worth of imports from 10 percent to 25 percent or extend those tariffs to an additional US$267 billion worth of products.

AFT warned in the letter that stories will continue to emerge on a daily basis about companies that are being harmed by the aforementioned tariffs as well as by the retaliatory tariffs that various key U.S. exports face in a number of important foreign markets. The letter highlights how over decades “Americans have built global supply chains that reflect the U.S. economy’s strengths and those of its trading partners,” making the U.S. economy “even more dependent upon relationships with key economic and strategic allies than ever before.” The disruption caused by the use of these tariffs on extremely complex supply chains, the coalition contends, “seeks to harm these key relationships and damage the U.S. economy, which still remains extremely strong.”

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