UPDATED 7:09 AM PT — Friday, January 25, 2019
Republican lawmakers are introducing legislation drafted by the White House to expand President Trump’s ability to negotiate fair trade deals for the U.S.
Representative Sean Duffy introduced the the Reciprocal Trade Act on Thursday. This would allow the president to raise tariffs on foreign products in order to match the expensive duties charged by other countries. The bill would also allow President Trump to take into account non-tariff barriers when making a decision.
According to the president, the legislation will actually reduce tariffs in the long run by forcing U.S. trading partners to make concessions.
“But you look at whiskey, so India gets 150-percent and we get nothing — I will tell you that those are just a few of the products, it’s actually much worse than that as bad as that sounds and all we’re saying is ‘if you’re going to charge us 150-percent, we’re going to charge you 150-percent’ and what will happen in many cases, we’ll both charge each other nothing or we’ll charge 150-percent, that’s okay too,” explained President Trump.
The legislation faces an uphill battle in the House, where Democrats now have the majority and are unlikely to expand the president’s executive powers.