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NTU Memo to Ways and Means Committee Ahead of Key Markup

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To: Members of the House Committee on Ways and Means

Re: NTU’s views on April 17, 2024 Committee Markup

On behalf of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), the nation’s oldest taxpayer advocacy organization, we write to express our views on several measures slated for consideration before the House Committee on Ways and Means on April 17, 2024.

H.R. 7986, the Generalized System of Preferences Reform Act - SUPPORT

This Act would modify and extend the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) through 2030. NTU has previously commented to your committee that trade preference programs like GSP encourage mutually beneficial transactions between Americans and our trading partners. They encourage trade with countries other than China, and incentivize our trading partners to buy U.S. exports and invest in our economy. As an organization dedicated to the rights of taxpayers, NTU supports GSP as an alternative to costly foreign aid programs.

H.R. 7983, the Stop Executive Overreach on Trade Agreements Act - SUPPORT

The Inflation Reduction Act includes subsidies for vehicles with battery components from countries with which the United States has a free trade agreement. While this provision is questionable at best, this act would take the important step of clarifying the meaning of “free trade agreement” to prevent the executive branch from unilaterally redefining it to include countries that we do not actually have free trade agreements with. The Biden administration ought to be pursuing more free trade agreements, not undermining the value of our current agreements.

H.R. 7979, the End China’s De Minimis Abuse Act - OPPOSE

In order to facilitate more trade and reduce administrative processes, imports valued under $800 are exempted from U.S. tariffs and face reduced paperwork burdens. This bill would increase import taxes on American consumers and businesses by removing that exemption for goods subject to tariffs under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. These acts have been abused by the current and previous administration to impose and maintain tariffs without congressional approval. The Biden administration maintains Section 232 restrictions on imports from allies like Israel and Europe and Section 301 tariffs on imports from China, even though those tariffs clearly failed to achieve their goals and should have expired in 2022. Any changes in de minimis treatment for imports covered by these laws should be accompanied by broader reforms to protect the interests of taxpayers and Congress’s role in trade policy.

NTU appreciates the Committee’s consideration of our views on these important issues and we stand ready to work with you on ways to protect taxpayers and American job creators.