21 December 2022- Today, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) spoke on the Senate floor about the executive branch’s latest planned abuse of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to unilaterally impose taxes on Americans. After explaining the immense, ongoing economic harm caused by the Trump-Biden tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Senator Toomey criticized the U.S. Trade Representative’s preliminary proposal to implement a “carbon tariff” regime that would use the threat of ultra-high tariffs—possibly as high as 70 percent—to coerce countries into enacting radical climate policies. Senator Toomey emphasized that the proposed agreement is an overreach of executive authority under Section 232 that will compound the harm inflicted by the current tariffs. He also warned that these actions set an alarming precedent with no limiting factor on future abuse, and he urged Congress to rein in the executive branch. Watch the speech HERE.
During his 15 minute speech on the Senate floor, Toomey took aim at both the current and past administrations for what he called “a tax they pay when they purchase something that has the tariffed material in it”. Toomey said “To disingenuously claim that these tariffs are necessary for “national security” is a slap in the face to the small businesses struggling to stay afloat as tariffs decimate their bottom lines, the manufacturing workers who were laid off as input costs increased, and the exporters who saw their market share abroad evaporate after being slapped with retaliatory tariffs.”
Additionally, Toomey continued with his “I told you so” attitude with the tariffs, continuing “As I warned my colleagues on both sides of the aisle years ago, Section 232 will haunt us like a protectionist Frankenstein unless Congress acts to rein in Executive abuse of the law. Let me be clear: It is never appropriate for a president of either party to use national security tariff authorities to achieve unrelated policy goals.”