CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Congressman-elect Joe Cunningham says he will propose legislation to roll back tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump.
Cunningham is planning to introduce a bill to roll back the President’s authority to unilaterally impose tariffs under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, his spokesman, Tyler Jones said Monday. The legislation, which is similar to a bill Congressman Mark Sanford and a coalition of bipartisan members introduced earlier this year, would also give Congress the authority to retroactively roll back any tariffs imposed under Section 232 over the last two years, Jones said.
“This administration’s unnecessary trade war is now doing real and significant damage to the Lowcountry economy and it will only get worse if Congress doesn’t step in,” Cunningham said in a statement. “Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act was intended for national security emergencies only, not politics."
The action is in response to Volvo’s recent announcement that the car maker would no longer ship S60 sedans from Charleston to China because of retaliatory tariffs, Jones said.
"We must protect Lowcountry jobs from the politics of Washington DC and I intend to make sure our Port and local manufacturers like Volvo and Mercedes-Benz have the support they need and deserve in Congress,” Cunningham said.
Under the bill Sanford and five other representatives introduced in July, the president would have to submit to Congress any proposal to adjust imports in the interest of national security under Section 232. Congress would have a 60-day period to review the proposal.
“Almost 580,000 jobs in South Carolina are tied to trade, and over 6,000 companies export goods globally from the state," Sanford said at the time the bill was introduced.
He said the Constitution is “explicit in granting Congress the power to decide these matters.”
“Yet, over the years, this power has eroded in congressional hands and strengthened in executive ones,” Sanford said. "This bill would simply help Congress to reassert its constitutional authority over tariffs proposed under Section 232.”