Breitbart reports that a number of House Republicans have teamed up with a group of House Democrats looking to get President Joe Biden to remove the tariffs that were placed on China-made imports by former President Donald Trump.
The number of House Republicans and Democrats who support the idea now stands at 140.
Some of the more well-known Republicans to join the effort are House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Burgess Owens (R-UT), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Ken Buck (R-CO), Young Kim (R-CA), and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH).
Before 2016, free trade was the consensus in Washington D.C. But, that changed with Trump’s presidency.
It was in the summer of 2018 that Trump began imposing tariffs, known as Section 301 tariffs, on Chinese-made goods, starting off with a 10 percent tariff. Trump, however, in the spring of 2019, upped the tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese goods.
As CNBC reports:
The Trump administration asserts, and many independent analysts agree, that Beijing has deployed predatory tactics to try to give Chinese companies an edge in such advanced technologies as artificial intelligence, robotics and electric vehicles. Beijing’s tactics, the U.S. contends, include hacking into U.S. companies’ computers to steal trade secrets, forcing foreign companies to turn over sensitive technology in exchange for access to China’s markets, and unfairly subsidizing Chinese companies.
Trump has also complained angrily about America’s gaping trade deficit with China for which he blames weak and naive negotiating by previous U.S. administrations.
Hence the tariffs.
Recently a group of Democrats, led by Reps. Darin LaHood (R-IL), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Ron Kind (D-WI), and Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), have been trying to get House members to sign onto a letter that they wrote to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai asking her to allow more Chinese made products to bypass the Section 301 tariffs. Tai is currently reviewing some 500 Chinese products to determine whether or not to exclude them from the tariffs.
The letter, in part, reads:
Sadly, the Section 301 tariffs have broadly impacted U.S. businesses in the manufacturing, agriculture, fishing, retail, energy, technology, and services industries. These impacts have been strongest for small-and medium-sized enterprises that are less able to absorb the increased cost of tariffs. Section 301 tariffs have also harmed American families and consumers by raising prices on a wide range of consumer products.
The lawmakers continue:
Given this, we strongly urge the USTR to expand its exclusion process as quickly as possible to give American workers, businesses, and families badly needed economic relief. To ensure that this relief is meaningful, we urge USTR to broaden the scope of the exclusion process to include all products covered under Section 301 tariffs and to ensure meaningful retroactivity to make businesses whole and keep them competitive.
As stated, so far, 140 House lawmakers have signed the letter, including McCarthy and a number of other Republicans.
McCarthy has yet to explain why he thinks this is a good idea despite the fact that many experts argue, persuasively, that this will be bad for our country.