Resolution Urging Congress to Reassert Its Constitutional Authority over International Commerce
Whereas Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution confers upon Congress the exclusive authority “To regulate commerce with foreign nations.”; and
Whereas Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution also states that “The Congress shall have the Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises to pay the debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States…”; and
Whereas international commerce is a global and domestic economic engine that supports tens of millions American jobs across the 50 states; and
Whereas tariffs are taxes that are placed on goods entering the U.S. and their cost is born by American consumers; and
Whereas tariffs rarely achieve their stated objectives and often end up harming the very American workers and families they purport to help; and
Whereas many U.S. manufacturers rely on imported components, and the tariffs enacted over the past few years have threatened the very American manufacturing jobs they were intended to protect and have undermined our nation’s enviable economic growth; and
Whereas with the enactment of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, Congress did delegate limited power to the president to enact tariffs; and
Whereas proposals to invoke Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported automobiles and auto parts increases prices for consumers, puts American jobs at risk and is opposed across the breadth of the U.S. auto industry because it would harm the auto sector and many downstream industries; and
Whereas the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) adopted in 1977 authorizes the president to take certain actions following the declaration of a national emergency in response to an extraordinary and unusual external threat to the nation; and
Whereas many legal scholars regard the threat of tariffs under the Trade Expansion Act as leverage of trade negotiations of 1962 as unlawful given the statute’s singular focus on national security threats; and
Whereas using national security as a rationale to impose tariffs on our closest allies in NATO and other alliances and other strategic economic partners reduces their incentive to cooperate and collaborate with us on trade challenges that are of mutual concern;
Therefore, be it resolved that the legislature of the state of [INSERT STATE] calls on Congress to reassert its authority under Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution to regulate international commerce and the enactment of tariffs.
Be it further resolved that the legislature of the state of [INSERT STATE] calls on Congress to approve legislation to require congressional approval in order for tariffs to be applied under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.IEEPA
Be it further resolved that copies of this resolution be sent to the President of the United States, the United States Trade Representative, the Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, the congressional delegation of the state of [INSERT STATE], the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and the U.S. Secretary of State.