Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice:
Congress has the authority to stop the Trump administration’s ill-considered trade war against some of the nation’s closest allies.
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is right in trying to thwart Trump on trade issues, reminding them that the policies harm the economy and the nation’s standing in the world.
In a string of tweets as he joined Utah Sen. Mike Lee ‘s bill to restore congressional authority over trade, Toomey said “Congress should assert its constitutional responsibility and lead on trade policy so Americans keep access to affordable goods and services, and the opportunity to sell our products abroad … Claiming steel bought from our allies is a ‘national security’ threat weakens our credibility.”
Toomey announced his decision before a series of companies announced last week that tariffs on steel and aluminum imports had begun to adversely affect their businesses. Mid-Continent Nail Co., for example, the nation’s largest nail manufacturer, said it would lay off 60 workers and that all 500 of its employees could be gone by Labor Day. American icon Harley Davidson announced its plan to shift some production overseas, to minimize the impact of increased steel and aluminum prices and to avoid retaliatory 31 percent tariffs imposed by the European Union .
Toomey also is a co-sponsor of the PRINT Act, which would suspend unwarranted tariffs on Canadian paper products pending an investigation of their merit and their impact on U.S. businesses, including newspapers and commercial printers, that use Canadian paper.
Toomey’s posture on trade is the correct one. Tariffs, especially as instituted by Trump, are narrow-interest policy. They jack up consumer prices for everyone while providing marginal, if any, benefits for the targeted businesses.