CPA Statement on Extending Exemptions on 232 Tariffs

May 02, 2018

Washington, DC. The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) strongly encourages the Trump Administration to fully implement crucial Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs rather than extend exemptions for certain countries. We support the Commerce Department determination that surging imports of subsidized steel and aluminum “threaten to impair the national security” of the United States.

Extending the exemptions for several countries has spurred price volatility and a flood of imports from foreign producers dumping product as soon as possible before the tariffs become effective. Broad and comprehensive implementation is needed to provide certainty and to meet the goals described by the administration.  

A broad strategy of tariffs, exchange rate management and strategic industrial policy should be implemented. We encourage the administration to move forward with Section 301 tariffs targeting roughly $150 billion of imports from China due to intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer tactics.

The effectiveness of the World Trade Organization is in question as it criticizes countries for protecting against the systematic mercantilism of state-managed economies and ignores global trade imbalances. The Trump administration is right to engage in aggressive and constructive unilateralism to defend American interests and rebalance the global trading system.

The United States should set a goal of balancing trade through implementation of an exchange rate management strategy. Tariffs are effective to redress unfair trade practices and to shape the composition of trade and production. Exchange rates must be addressed to rebalance trade and can be addressed with the Competitive Dollar for Jobs and Prosperity Act which is supported by many in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors.

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