June 21,2018

Press Contact:

Katie Niederee and Julia Lawless, 202-224-4515

Senate Finance GOP to Ross: Tariffs Hurt Americans

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) convened a hearing yesterday to consider the administration’s decision to impose new tariffs, including on U.S. allies. Finance Committee Republicans made clear to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross the disruptive and negative effects that these tariffs are having on their constituents and U.S. global relations. Take a look at what they had to say: 

SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN ORRIN HATCH (R-UTAH) on how 232 tariffs affect national security and global relationships:

“The U.S. Department of Defense has stated that it is ‘concerned about the negative impact on our key allies’ of the steel and aluminum actions recommended by the Department of Commerce, particularly global tariffs and the use of quotas. The lessons of the steel and aluminum tariffs are clear: these tariffs do not support U.S. national security. Instead, they harm American manufacturers, damage our economy, hurt American consumers, and disrupt our relationship with our long-time allies while giving China a free pass.”

U.S. SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IOWA) on tariffs’ impact on Iowa agriculture:

“I convey this point to you from what I hear from my constituents. The impact of the proposed tariff is getting very real. We’ve watched the soybean market start to collapse from an upper-$9 range to a mid-$8 range—yesterday down 40 cents…As an example, losing $1.25 on [a] national average soybean yield of 49 bushel per acre equates to a farmer losing to $61.25 an acre because of these movements.”

U.S. SENATOR PAT ROBERTS (R-KAN.) on the effects that tariffs are having on Shield Agriculture Equipment, a small Kansas business:

“What will the impact of tariffs on steel and aluminum be?...Well, [Shield Agriculture Equipment] knows, as do many small and medium sized enterprises, who are seeing price increases now and have been for months. These businesses are paying the price for the administration’s negotiating strategy.”

U.S. SENATOR JOHN THUNE (R-S.D.) on the effect of tariffs on South Dakota agriculture:  

“Corn, wheat, beef, and pork are all suffering market price declines, as well due to current trade policies – and I’d like to drive home the point that with every passing day, the United States loses market share to other countries competing with our ag product markets – some of it unlikely to be recaptured.”

U.S. SENATOR JOHNNY ISAKSON (R-GA.) on how trade wars can add up to billions of dollars:

“In your first press conference on the steel and aluminum tariffs…you held up an aluminum can and made a reference that the tariffs would only add pennies to the cost of that can. The largest producer of soft drinks in the United States of America and in the world is the Coca-Cola Company, which is headquarter in Atlanta. That pennies a can is pennies times a billion for the billions of cans of Coca-Cola and other produce that are sold every day…Although a couple pennies on a can is not much, a couple pennies times a billion is a lot. We’re getting into a war that’s going to cost lots of billions of dollars and we need to be careful and make sure we know where we’re going.”                                                                              

U.S. SENATOR ROB PORTMAN (R-OHIO) on using appropriate trade tools:

“My point is not that we don’t have a need to balance trade, it is what tools we use, and if we use 232, which if we look back at the legislative history has only been used three times since the 1960s when it was written and it hasn’t been used in over 30 years, because other Commerce Departments have said this is not a national security concern.”

U.S. SENATOR PAT TOOMEY (R-PA.) on trade policy that picks winners and losers:  

"I'm very concerned about a number of aspects of these 232 tariffs, not the least of which it does not seem to me that the administration has taken into account the fact that for every person who works in the steel production industry, there is probably something on the order of forty or more people who work in steel-consuming industries. So we're picking winners and losers, and probably resulting in my view, in the risk of far more jobs lost than jobs that are going to be gained."