Legislation expanding executive power over tariffs is ‘exact opposite’ of what Congress should focus on, says NRF

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French on the United States Reciprocal Trade Act, legislation expected to be introduced today by Representative Sean Duffy, R-Wis., that would give the executive branch unilateral authority to raise U.S. tariffs on any foreign country.

“At a time when American businesses and families are suffering under unilateral tariffs imposed by the administration, Congress should be working to protect local communities from an escalated trade war. This misguided legislation would do the exact opposite, giving the executive branch limitless power to raise taxes in the form of tariffs. Congress has already ceded far too much of its clear constitutional authority over tariffs, and we are witnessing the consequences unfold across the country. The idea that Congress would make matters even worse by further abdicating its role on trade policy is simply unconscionable. The administration and Congress should focus on enhancing market opportunities and reducing trade barriers around the world through trade negotiations, not through tariffs.”

About NRF

The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.