Thursday, January 26, 2017

trade war powers act

Under the Constitution, Congress has the primary power over trade. Since he 1930s, however, lawmakers have delegated much of its power to the president. Many of existing trade laws have sections that would allow President Donald Trump to do most of his proposed policies, including tariffs and import restrictions.

Conservative Senator Mike Lee of Utah wants to recapture some of that trade power with his new bill, S. 177, that would require congressional approval of many of the presidential actions under those trade laws.

I like the idea, but I think it would work better if it gave Congress power to veto those trade actions, the way current law allows a legislative veto of international arms sales.

I agree with the key purpose of the bill: if a president wants a trade war, Congress ought to be involved.

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