Skip to Content

Press Releases

Gallagher, Beyer Introduce Bill to Reassert Congress' Voice in Trade Policy

Rep. Gallagher (R-WI) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today re-introduced the Congressional Trade Authority Act. This bipartisan bill would require the president to submit to Congress any proposal to adjust imports in the interest of national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

“Congress’ penchant for ceding its constitutional authorities to the Executive Branch has left the institution weak and the country increasingly governed by executive fiat. This bipartisan bill takes a step to reverse this trend by restoring our voice in the tariff process and what constitutes a national security threat under Section 232. Whether it’s spending, war powers, or trade, it’s far past time for Congress to reassert itself as the dominant branch of government and claw back its Article I authorities,” said Rep. Gallagher. 

“Section 232 national security tariffs were historically used sparingly and strategically, but that changed under the previous administration, showing the need for Congress to reassert its constitutional prerogatives to provide oversight of U.S. trade relations,” said Rep. Beyer. “This legislation will ensure that future administrations do not abuse national security authorities to impose tariffs without clear objectives and without Congressional approval. Tariffs are a powerful tool to combat unfair trade practices, but they impose significant costs on American consumers, and Congress must have the ability to weigh in on any future 232 trade actions.”

Under this bill, Members of Congress have a 60-day period following submission to review the president's proposal. A joint resolution to approve the proposal would qualify for expedited consideration in both chambers. The requirement would apply to all future Section 232 actions, in addition to those taken within the last six years. The bill would restore the national security intent behind Section 232 by transferring national security investigatory authority from the Department of Commerce to the Department of Defense.

In 2022, the National Taxpayer Union (NTU) named the bill one of ten "No Brainer" bills for Congress to pass, which meant it had bipartisan support and provided a common-sense solution to a real problem facing taxpayers.

Read the bill text HERE.

What leaders in Northeast Wisconsin are saying:

John Panetti, President & Owner, Team Industries, Inc.

“Congressman Gallagher’s Bill to amend the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 is imperative to protect national security and independence of the United States, while minimizing any economic impacts on domestic businesses. Team Industries is in full support of this Bill; fighting against unfair trade practices. We applaud Congressman Gallagher for leading this effort.” 

Rick Esenberg, President and General Counsel, Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty

“For too long, our representatives have forgotten that our Constitution's separation of powers is not some technicality to be abused for short term gain, but an important protection for liberty. No matter how you feel about tariffs, the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act is an important step towards Congress reclaiming its Article I responsibilities when it comes to international trade.” 

Kurt Voss, CEO, AmeriLux International

“I do agree with fighting unfair trade practices, but the power of implementing tariffs should not belong with the President. Companies like mine are the ones who end up paying for tariffs, and it hurts our business when these decisions are made quickly, without notice, and retroactively applied. As a deliberative body who weighs the pros and cons, Congress should be the branch of government approving tariffs. Not only is that what the Constitution says, but it gives companies ample time to react.” 

John Jacobs IV, Green Valley Dairy

“As a national security expert, Congressman Gallagher understands the importance and value of Sec. 232. A critical component of this Bill is decentralizing the power and authority of implementing tariffs by rescinding the authority from the Executive Branch. With high inflation and continued supply chain issues, we need to arm our representatives with the necessary tools to fight these challenges. Agriculture is at times uniquely affected by retaliatory tariffs. Congressman Gallagher understands this and we strongly support his efforts on the Congressional Trade Authority Act of 2023.” 

What national industry leaders are saying:

Bryan Riley, Director of Free Trade Initiative, National Taxpayer’s Union

“NTU enthusiastically supports the Congressional Trade Authority Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI). Last year NTU included this legislation on our annual list of "No Brainer" bills for Congress to pass. The Congressional Trade Authority Act would reinstate the role of Congress over trade and commerce as spelled out in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution with respect to trade restrictions proposed by the executive branch for alleged national security reasons. There is currently too much leeway for presidents to bypass Congress and abuse U.S. trade law. Rep. Gallagher's act would address that problem.” 

Tiffany Smith, Vice President for Global Trade Policy, National Foreign Trade Council

“The Tariff Reform Coalition welcomes the bipartisan introduction of the Congressional Trade Authority Act by Rep. Gallagher and Rep. Beyer and we urge its swift passage. The last five years have demonstrated the need for fundamental reform of the authority granted to the President under Section 232. This important legislation makes commonsense changes to Section 232 that will ensure its use is more closely linked to national security interests and provide greater predictability and transparency for importers and affected industries.”