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Senator Hassan, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Measure to Protect American Consumers, Small Businesses and Manufacturers from Costly Tariffs

Legislation Would Make Clear that Presidents Cannot Impose Tariffs Unilaterally

WASHINGTON — Senator Maggie Hassan joined her colleagues in introducing bipartisan legislation, the Trade Certainty Act, that would ensure that presidents – regardless of which party holds the White House – cannot use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) to impose tariffs unilaterally. The IEEPA was not intended to be used as a trade tool, and no president has used it to place tariffs on imported products since the legislation’s enactment in 1977. The Trade Certainty Act clarifies Congress’ intent by specifying that the IEEPA does not grant the executive branch the power to impose tariffs or quotas on imported goods.

President Trump has repeatedly relied on national security justifications as he has levied tariffs without involving Congress. In May, President Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all goods from Mexico, the United States’ third-largest trading partner, under the IEEPA for issues unrelated to trade.

"Trade decisions should be based on a sound strategy, and tariffs should not be imposed without a full understanding of the impact they would have on consumers, businesses, and our economy," said Senator Hassan. "This bipartisan measure ensures that Congress can fulfill its responsibility to execute trade policies based on what’s in our country’s best interests.”

Earlier this week, Senator Hassan discussed the impact that the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) could have on New Hampshire farmers and small businesses during a Finance Committee hearing. Additionally, In June, Senator Hassan highlighted the harmful impact that President Trump’s tariffs are having on businesses in New Hampshire during a hearing with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

The text of the bill can be found here.