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Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Call for Implementation of Congressional Review Act Procedures on Trade Measures

May 10, 2018
Press Release

Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Call for Implementation of Congressional Review Act Procedures on Trade Measures

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) and Ralph Norman (R-SC) introduced the Trade Authority Protection (TAP) Act, a bill that creates a Congressional Review Act style process allowing Congress the opportunity to evaluate, and in some cases reject, trade agreements and proceedings by the Executive branch. This action is derived from Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution which clearly states that Congress shall have power "to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations.”

The Trade Authority Protection (TAP) Act would require the President to submit a report to Congress for all trade authorities delegated to him by Congress. The report would require not only a description of the proposal but also an economic impact study on both the proposal and any and all anticipated retaliatory actions. Congress would then have 60 days to consider the action and an expedited process for passing a resolution of disapproval to nullify the action.

Reps. Kind, Dent, Meeks, and Norman issued the following statements on the Trade Authority Protection (TAP) Act:

“Major overhauls to trade policy are not successfully completed without full collaboration and cooperation between the Administration and Congress. It’s time that Congress steps up to the plate, and uses the powers granted by our Constitution to collaboratively shape U.S. trade policy,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “We must work together, not alone, to create trade policies that open new markets for American farmers, workers, and businesses.”

“Congress must reassert its role in trade negotiations or the country will suffer the consequences,” said Rep. Charlie Dent. “Tariffs, and other barriers to entry, are more harmful than helpful to our national economic health.”

“This bill is timely and crucial to Congress' role in regulating foreign commerce, “said Rep. Gregory W. Meeks. “The Trump administration has demonstrated its lack of regard for the constitutional authority of Congress on matters of international trade making it strikingly clear that as Members of Congress we must reassert our authority as an equal branch of government.  President Trump's unilateral actions regarding withdrawal from trade agreements or threatening a trade war have been all the more concerning given the lack of adequate consultation with Congress or real analysis of the economic and geopolitical consequences.”

“For the past century, the United States has woven an intricate web of global trade pacts between other countries,” said Rep. Ralph Norman. “While I think it is vital to renegotiate trade pacts every so often, we must ensure that Americans are not negatively affected. The Trade Authority Protection Act would do just that. Though the Executive Branch has been delegated authority over foreign trade, Congress needs to review each decision. I look forward to working with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to ensure America, and it’s consumers, are well protected.”