Press Release

ALEC Opposes Measures to Concentrate More Authority to Increase Tariffs with the Executive Branch

For Immediate Release
Contact: Daniel Reynolds

 ALEC Opposes Measures to Concentrate More Authority to Increase Tariffs with the Executive Branch

As an organization that has a foundational commitment to upholding and, when circumstances dictate, restoring the intricate balance of powers outlined in the U.S. Constitution, ALEC opposes any initiatives that would increase presidential authority to enact tariffs at the expense of Congress’s constitutional authority to do so. Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution 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…”. This same section of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power “To regulate commerce with foreign nations.” Jurisdiction for imposing tariffs rests with the legislative, not the executive branch.

Support for free markets is an ALEC guiding principle, and ALEC members recognize the power of international commerce to grow the American economy. Thirty-five million U.S. jobs spread across fifty states owe their existence to trade, so instead of erecting barriers to trade, we should be eliminating them. Tariffs are taxes that are placed on goods entering the United States that are ultimately paid by hardworking Americans. They do not achieve their stated goals and usually harm those American workers and families they are purported to help. Many job-creating U.S. businesses rely on imported components, and the tariffs enacted in the past two years threaten American jobs and undermine our nation’s enviable economic growth. Tariffs, if they should be considered at all, should only be enacted following careful congressional deliberation.


The American Legislative Exchange Council is the largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. The Council is governed by state legislators who comprise the Board of Directors and is advised by the Private Enterprise Advisory Council, a group of private, foundation and think tank members. For more information about the American Legislative Exchange Council, please visit:

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