Key Vote YES on the Motion to Instruct on H.R. 5895 to Enhance Trade Oversight

On behalf of FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to vote YES on the motion to instruct Senate conference managers for the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, H.R. 5895, to enhance oversight of unilateral trade actions by the executive branch.

The motion to instruct simply states: “[M]anagers on the part of the Senate at the conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the Senate amendment to the bill H.R. 5895 be instructed to include language providing a role for Congress in making a determination under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (19 U.S.C. 1862).”

The administration has misused Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act to unilaterally impose tariffs – which are taxes – for purposes unrelated to national security. These tariffs threaten American consumers with higher prices and American businesses with retaliatory tariffs imposed by our trading partners.

These unilateral trade actions have already had a negative impact on the United States’ agriculture industry because of retaliatory tariffs. Rather than end the trade war, the Department of Agriculture may respond with a $30 billion bailout for farmers through the New Deal-era Commodity Credit Corporation. This is bad policy seeking to mitigate the effects of another bad policy.

According to the National Taxpayers Union, proposed tariffs on automobiles could lead to price increases of at least $1,262 per car and at least $5,089 per truck. These tariffs will not only hit consumers but also have a negative impact on the U.S. auto industry.

Recent unilateral trade actions threaten economic growth and diminish the benefits of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution gives Congress authority over trade. Congress must step up to reclaim its constitutional authority over trade. This is why FreedomWorks has supported Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Warren Davidson’s (R-Ohio) Global Trade Accountability Act, S. 177 and H.R. 5281, and why we also support S. 3013, introduced by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

FreedomWorks will count the vote on the motion to instruct on our 2018 Congressional Scorecard. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.


Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks