Tuesday, June 04, 2019

GOP lawmakers consider blocking Trump's tariffs on Mexico, say U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade treaty is at risk

Congressional Republicans are considering blocking President Trump's planned tariffs on Mexico because they increasingly agree that the tariffs would cost American businesses and consumers more money, according to people with inside knowledge, Erica Werner, Seung Min Kim, and Damian Paletta report for The Washington Post. "Trump has said he would put in place 5 percent tariffs on all Mexican goods as of June 10, rising by another 5 percent a month until October, unless Mexico stops all illegal migration into the United States," they note.

The U.S. has a free-trade agreement with Mexico, so Trump must declare a national emergency at the border to enact the tariffs. Congress can override the declaration by passing a resolution that Trump could veto; a two-thirds vote of both houses would be needed to override the veto, and that would be the biggest rebuke ever by this Republican Congress to this Republican president.

"Congress passed such a resolution in March after Trump reallocated the border wall funds, but he vetoed it. Now, as frustration on Capitol Hill grows over Trump’s latest tariff threat, a second vote could potentially command a veto-proof majority to nullify the national emergency, which in turn could undercut both the border-wall effort and the new tariffs," the Post reports. "The vote, which would be the GOP’s most dramatic act of defiance since Trump took office, could also have the effect of blocking billions of dollars in border-wall funding that the president had announced in February when he declared a national emergency at the southern border."

On Monday, lawmakers from both parties urged Trump to abandon the tariffs, and threatened not to pass the pending trade deal with Mexico and Canada. White House officials said they still planned to impose the tariffs, which they said are unrelated to the trade deal, the Post reports.

No comments: