Congress and Tariff Policy

Archive Report

Renewal of the Trade Agreements Act

Republican Attitude Toward Trade Agreements Act

For the first time since its original enactment 14 years ago, the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, due to expire by limitation on June 12, has come up for renewal in a Republican-controlled Congress. Republicans in both Senate and House have an almost unbroken record of opposition to the act.1 Although they could now make that opposition effective by simply allowing the legislation to die, their leaders have chosen a different course. The bill reported by the Ways and Means Committee, after approval May 13 by the House Republican Steering Committee, limits the period of renewal to one year and imposes conditions on the authority to negotiate trade agreements that may have the practical effect ...

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