Issue: Economy and Jobs

Walorski Statement on Section 232 Auto Investigation

Walorski Statement on Section 232 Auto Investigation

Commerce Department Completes Investigation into Whether Auto Imports Threaten National Security

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the Commerce Department completed its investigation into whether auto imports threaten U.S. national security:

“While I have not seen the results of the Commerce Department’s investigation into auto imports, I am concerned it could set the stage for costly tariffs on cars and auto parts. President Trump is right to seek a level playing field for American businesses and workers, but the best way to do that is with a scalpel, not an axe. Broad-based auto tariffs would lead to retaliatory measures by our trading partners, raise costs for hardworking families, and hurt local manufacturers in my district and across Indiana that make cars, RVs, auto parts, and more. I urge the president and his administration not to take any action that would threaten our nation’s economic momentum.”

BACKGROUND

In July 2018, Walorski led a bipartisan letter signed by 149 members of Congress urging Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross not to put American jobs and economic growth at risk by imposing tariffs on automobiles and automotive parts.

The members highlighted the economic benefits of the auto industry and warned of negative consequences if the Section 232 national security investigation into imports of automobiles and automotive parts results in tariffs, quotas, or other restrictions. A copy of the letter is available here.

Walorski recently helped introduce bipartisan legislation to reassert congressional authority over trade and tariff policy by reforming the Section 232 tariff process. The Trade Security Act (H.R. 1008) would restore fairness, transparency, and accountability to the Section 232 process, ensure these tariffs are only used when necessary to protect our national security, and give the American people a voice by strengthening congressional oversight.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski, Kind, Sewell, LaHood Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Trade Security Act Aimed at Reforming National Security Tariffs

Walorski, Kind, Sewell, LaHood Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Trade Security Act Aimed at Reforming National Security Tariffs

Bill Will Give Power to Department of Defense Over Department of Commerce When Determining National Security Threat of Section 232 Tariffs, and Increase Congressional Oversight

WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) today introduced the Trade Security Act, a bill that would reassert Congressional authority over trade and tariff policy by reforming Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The bill would also redesignate national security threat assessments (in regards to Section 232 tariffs) to the Department of Defense.

Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced the Senate companion version of the bill today.

“The president is right to seek a level playing field for American businesses and workers, but the best way to do that is with a scalpel, not an axe,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Overly broad tariffs continue to harm manufacturers in my district and threaten our nation’s economic momentum, and it’s clear the national security tariff process is flawed. This bipartisan bill would restore fairness, transparency, and accountability to the Section 232 process, ensure these tariffs are only used when necessary to protect our national security, and give the American people a voice by strengthening congressional oversight.”

“This Administration’s go-it-alone approach of resolving our trade imbalances has sparked a trade war that is hurting Wisconsin farmers, workers, and families. The National Security tariff process is being misused, at the cost of our rural and local economies. It is long-past time for Congress to reassert its constitutionally-granted power in our Nation’s trade policy and protect our export power,” said Rep. Ron Kind.

“Congress must reassert its trade authority and take steps to protect our manufacturers and farmers from the Trump administration’s reckless and isolationist trade policy. Alabama – where auto manufacturers like Hyundai and Mercedes employ nearly 40,000 hardworking men and women – is proof the Trump administration’s policies are misguided. The auto industry strengthens America; it doesn’t threaten it,” said Rep. Terri Sewell.

“Agriculture is the top industry in the state of Illinois and I have seen firsthand the positive effect that free trade has had on our farming communities and agribusiness. Our agriculture producers and manufacturers need markets and customers to remain competitive in the global economy. While I appreciate the Administration’s efforts to go after bad actors, implementation of Section 232 tariffs has resulted in increased costs for consumers and retaliatory trade actions that have hindered the ability of producers in my district to sell their products and have access to open markets. I look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion to ensure Congress is properly consulted on trade actions of critical importance to our farmers and manufacturers in central and west-central Illinois,” said Rep. Darin LaHood.

A copy of the bill can be found here.

NOTE: The Trade Security Act reforms the Section 232 statute to ensure that (1) any Section 232 actions are based on a national security determination by the Department of Defense; and (2) Congress has a larger role to play in 232 actions. Specifically, this bill will:

  • Bifurcate the existing Section 232 process into an investigation phase, led by the Department of Defense, and a remedy phase, led by the Department of Commerce. Splitting these responsibilities, while guaranteeing consultation between the two departments at all stages of the process, plays to each department’s strengths to ensure that the statute is used for genuine national security purposes.
  • Require the Department of Defense – instead of the Department of Commerce – to justify the national security basis for new tariffs under Section 232 and make the determination about the national security threat posed by imports of certain products. If a threat is found, the Department of Defense would send its report to the president. In the event that the president desires to take action based on the finding of a national security threat, the president would then direct the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Trade Representative, to develop recommendations for how to respond to the threat. After receiving the recommendations of the Secretary of Commerce, the president would decide whether to take action.
  • Increase the role of Congress in the Section 232 process by expanding the process whereby Congress can disapprove of a Section 232 action by passing a joint resolution of disapproval. Currently, Section 232 contains a disapproval resolution process limited only to the disapproval of actions on oil imports, which was inserted into Section 232 in 1980 by Congress in response to concerns about the misuse of the statute. This bill would expand the use of that disapproval resolution process to all types of products. The reformed disapproval process will only apply to future Section 232 actions.
  • Require consultation with Congress throughout the Section 232 process.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on President Trump’s State of the Union Address

Walorski Statement on President Trump’s State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on President Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address:

“President Trump spoke to the American people with clarity, a call for unity, and a renewed commitment to our shared ideals.

“We need to work together to keep our economic momentum going, allow our manufacturers and farmers to succeed, and make sure hardworking Hoosiers have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. We need to defend against global threats by working alongside our allies, standing strong against our adversaries, and continuing to rebuild our military. And we need both sides need to come together to fix our broken immigration system and secure our borders.

“I stand ready to work with President Trump, his administration, and my colleagues in Congress to find commonsense solutions that make our country and our communities stronger.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Named Top Republican on Ways and Means Worker & Family Subcommittee

Walorski Named Top Republican on Ways and Means Worker & Family Subcommittee

Panel Has Jurisdiction Over Programs to Help Workers, Children, and Families Thrive

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today was named the top Republican, or ranking member, of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker & Family Support, which has jurisdiction over programs aimed at helping workers, children, and families thrive.

“The key to keeping the American Dream alive is to expand economic opportunity and empower workers and families to succeed,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “I’m honored to serve as ranking member of the Worker & Family Support Subcommittee, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to find commonsense solutions that make a real difference in people’s lives. We have important work ahead of us to build on our economic momentum, support stronger and healthier families, and help hardworking Americans build a bridge from poverty to prosperity.”

“Hardworking Americans who were left behind during the previous administration are now finally seeing more jobs and bigger paychecks thanks to President Trump and our GOP pro-growth agenda,” said Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady. “Ms. Walorski and I are ready to roll up our sleeves and work with our Democrat colleagues to protect the growing paychecks of America’s workers and ensure this booming economy isn’t slowed down. I look forward to working with Jackie as we continue to fight for policies that promote more opportunities for workers and families across the country.”

BACKGROUND

The panel, previously called the Subcommittee on Human Resources, authorizes and oversees a wide range of programs and services, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Social Services Block Grant, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, the Maternal, Infant, and early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, child and family services, and foster care and adoption.

Walorski will also serve as a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on Audit of Commerce Tariff Exclusion Process

Walorski Statement on Audit of Commerce Tariff Exclusion Process

GAO to Review Process After Requests from Congress

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced it would review the Commerce Department’s tariff exclusion process, an investigation of which Walorski was a co-requestor:

“A robust product exclusion process is critical to providing relief for American manufacturers and small businesses affected by the steel and aluminum tariffs. The Commerce Department’s process has been broken from the start, and while improvements have been made, I continue to have serious concerns about its efficiency, transparency, fairness. I am hopeful this GAO investigation, along with the ongoing Commerce Department Inspector General review, will shed light on flaws in the process and lead to additional reforms.”

BACKGROUND

The GAO this week agreed to a request led by Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to formally review the the tariff exclusion process for the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs administered by the Department of Commerce. Walorski joined a group of House members in co-requesting the audit.

Walorski has led the charge in the House to hold the Department of Commerce accountable for fixing problems faced by businesses requesting relief from the tariffs. In response to concerns raised by Walorski, the Commerce Department in August adopted several changes to the exclusion process.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Applauds House Passage of RV Fix, Other Tax Provisions

Walorski Applauds House Passage of RV Fix, Other Tax Provisions

Bill Would Overhaul IRS, Delay Health Care Taxes, Boost Retirement Savings, and Fix Tax Code Glitch Affecting RV Industry

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today applauded House passage of legislation making important tax-related changes, including an overhaul of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a commonsense fix Walorski championed to provide fair tax treatment for the recreational vehicle (RV) industry.

“In order to continue building on our nation’s economic momentum, we need to work constantly to ensure our tax code is working for the American people,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “This critical legislation modernizes the IRS so it always puts service to the taxpayer first. It gives families and businesses better tools to boost saving for the future and for retirement. It delays the job-killing medical device tax and other costly taxes like the health insurance tax and the ‘Cadillac tax.’ And it makes a small but critical fix to ensure certain types of RVs don’t wrongly face different treatment under a provision in the tax code.”

The House passed an amended version of H.R. 88, the Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act, by a vote of 220 to 183. The legislation included a fix to a provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law at the end of 2017, that inadvertently excluded towable RVs and campers from the definition of Motor Vehicle.

Walorski, who is co-chair of the House RV Caucus, worked to ensure the fix to this tax glitch was included in H.R. 88. The error made non-motorized RVs ineligible for floor plan interest deductibility, adding complexity for RV dealers and retailers and preventing them from obtaining financing needed to purchase new inventory. Towable RVs account for approximately 90 percent of RV sales.

In addition, the legislation:

  • Helps businesses provide retirement savings plans to employees and helps families start saving for the future earlier.
  • Modernizes the IRS and makes taxpayer service the focus of the agency.
  • Delays the job-killing medical device tax for five years, the health insurance tax for two years, and the “Cadillac tax” for one year.
  • Makes other important technical corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski, Kind Urge Solution to Tariffs on Mexico, Canada

Walorski, Kind Urge Solution to Tariffs on Mexico, Canada

Bipartisan Letter to USTR Lighthizer Calls for Swift End to Steel and Aluminum Tariffs and Retaliation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) today called for a swift solution to the steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada. Walorski and Kind were joined by 11 other members of the Ways and Means Committee in urging the U.S. Trade Representative, Amb. Robert Lighthizer, to prioritize lifting the tariffs and retaliation.

“American farmers, manufacturers, workers, and consumers will continue to be harmed, especially by the retaliatory measures, until an agreement is reached to lift the tariffs,” the members wrote. “[W]e urge you to put the highest priority on lifting the steel and aluminum tariffs and retaliation entirely as soon as possible.”

A signed copy of the letter can be found here. The full text is below.

Dear Ambassador Lighthizer,

We write today to urge you to reach a negotiated solution regarding the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada as soon as possible.

We note that on many occasions over the past year, Administration officials linked lifting the steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada to the success of negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

However, despite the fact that President Trump recently signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the tariffs – and the retaliation from Mexico and Canada – remain in place. American farmers, manufacturers, workers, and consumers will continue to be harmed, especially by the retaliatory measures, until an agreement is reached to lift the tariffs.

We look forward to additional consultations with you as we continue to review all aspects of the USMCA. In the meantime, however, we urge you to put the highest priority on lifting the steel and aluminum tariffs and retaliation entirely as soon as possible, and certainly before congressional consideration.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on Signing of U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement

Walorski Statement on Signing of U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the U.S., Mexico, and Canada formally signed a new trade agreement:

“While it is encouraging to see the U.S., Mexico, and Canada take the next step toward a modernized trade agreement, I am disappointed there is still no resolution to the steel and aluminum tariffs and retaliatory measures. As long as they remain in place, these unnecessary tariffs on our trading partners will continue to harm American manufacturers and threaten Hoosier jobs. I urge President Trump to stand up for our small businesses and workers by ending these tariffs and focusing on the real problem of China’s unfair trade practices.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski, Kind Call on USTR Lighthizer to Establish Tariff Exclusion Process

Walorski, Kind Call on USTR Lighthizer to Establish Tariff Exclusion Process

Walorski and Kind Are Joined by 167 Members with Constituents Impacted by Tariffs and Retaliation

WASHINGTONU.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) today called on United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to establish a process that allows U.S. companies to request an exclusion from the recent tariffs imposed on $200 billion of Chinese imports. This process would help U.S. companies retain global competitiveness, and would help target the effects of the tariffs on China, rather than on U.S. companies and consumers. Exclusions were established for all previous rounds of tariffs, but have been neglectfully omitted for the most recent tariffs.

Reps. Walorski and Kind were joined by a bipartisan coalition of 167 Members of Congress.

Statements from the lawmakers are below:

“We need to hold China accountable, but we need to do it in a way that doesn’t harm American manufacturers, farmers, workers, and consumers. A fair and transparent exclusion process for U.S. businesses will help minimize the negative impact of these tariffs and build on our nation’s economic momentum. The administration should heed our bipartisan call to establish a strong exclusion process and ensure we stay focused on the real target, which is China’s unfair trade practices,” said Congresswoman Walorski.

“The very least this Administration can do is provide businesses the ability to petition their government to prove their case that these tariffs will hurt their businesses, workers, and customers alike.  I am committed to working together to ensure we find a safe landing zone for American farmers and businesses, and will continue to call on the President and Ambassador Lighthizer to end these reckless tariffs,” said Rep. Ron Kind.

This request remains consistent with previous Section 301 exclusion requests. An exclusion process is vital to ensuring that U.S. companies can seek relief in the event that there are no alternative suppliers of the good, or if other special circumstances exist that could harm their ability to compete in the global marketplace.

Read the letter here.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on U.S.-Canada-Mexico Trade Agreement

Walorski Statement on U.S.-Canada-Mexico Trade Agreement

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the U.S., Canada, and Mexico announced a new trilateral trade agreement:

“A modernized trade agreement with Mexico and Canada will strengthen America’s economy and open new markets for made-in-America products. This announcement is welcome news for northern Indiana, and I look forward to reviewing the details of the agreement to ensure it benefits Hoosier manufacturers, farmers, and workers.

“However, I am concerned there is still no resolution to the steel and aluminum tariffs and retaliation that continue to harm our manufacturers and threaten Hoosier jobs. The Trump administration must provide clarity on the steps being taken to end these tariffs on our trading partners and target the real problem, which is China’s unfair trade practices.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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