Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

Cooper Supports Bipartisan Bill to Protect Tennessee from Trump Tariffs

Jun 8, 2018
Press Release

Legislation Asserts Congress’ Right to Scrutinize Presidential Trade Actions, Including Tariffs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced he is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation that would require presidents to allow Congress to review proposed trade actions – such as tariffs – at least 60 days before the trade actions are scheduled to take effect.

The Trade Authority Protection Act is sponsored by Rep. Ron Kind (WI-03) and asserts Congress’ authority to evaluate trade actions proposed by the Executive Branch. Rep. Cooper’s support comes after President Trump’s hasty move to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel, as well as his proposal to place levies on auto imports.

“Nobody wins in trade wars. Other countries need to be held accountable for unfair trade,” Rep. Cooper said. “But using tariffs to pressure our partners into better behavior rarely works. Tennesseans will be the ones who get hurt.”

The Trade Authority Protection Act would require the president for all congressionally delegated trade authorities to submit a report to Congress 60 days before the trade action is to take effect.

The report would:

  • Describe the proposed action;
  • Outline the effective period of said action;
  • Analyze said action, including whether the action is in the national economic interest of the U.S.;
  • Assess the threat of potential retaliation from trading partners;
  • Provide an economic analysis of the impact of both the action and expected reactions from trading partners; and
  • Show a list of articles affected by said action.

Rep. Cooper supports similar efforts by Tennessee Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander to check executive authority on trade. Last month, Rep. Cooper announced his opposition to President Trump’s suggested tariffs on auto imports, saying they would hurt Tennessee.