Stauber Co-Introduces Legislation to Create Level, Fair Playing Field for the American Worker

January 24, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) co-introduced the Reciprocal Trade Act, which aims to give the executive branch better tools and more leverage to negotiate fairer trade deals that help American workers. This legislation was introduced by Congressman Sean Duffy (WI-07).

“I support free, but also fair trade. The unfair trade policies of other countries have gone unchecked for decades, and America’s farmers, manufacturers and companies are paying the price,” said Stauber. “The unfortunate result of these one-sided trade relationships has been the loss of millions of American jobs, the exodus of thousands of American companies overseas, and failure to sell American products in the global market. American workers can compete with anyone in the world so long as there is a level and fair playing field, and this bill will give the President the ability to bring other countries to the table to end unfair trade practices that have been disadvantaging American workers for decades.”

“American workers, farmers, and manufactures are the hardest working and most productive people in the world. And if they’re given a level playing field, they can compete and win against anyone else on earth,” said Duffy. “Unfortunately, the current trade system allows other countries to put massive tariffs on our products without any repercussions. That’s why my legislation would give the President the tools necessary to pressure other nations to lower their tariffs and stop taking advantage of America. The goal of the U.S. Reciprocal Trade Act is NOT to raise America’s tariffs but rather to encourage the rest of the world to lower theirs. The American people deserve FREE and FAIR trade, and the Reciprocal Trade Act will be an important step in achieving that goal.”

The Reciprocal Trade Act would give the President, after notification to, and consultation with Congress, the ability to negotiate and enter into agreements that obligate foreign countries to lower their trade barriers; and impose reciprocal tariffs on such countries that refuse to lower their tariff and non-tariff barriers.

Currently, the President has a very limited ability to address foreign tariffs and nontariff barriers in an individual, specifically targeted manner. The Reciprocal Trade Act would allow the President to only go after foreign countries with unfair, non-reciprocal tariffs on a case-by-case basis.