Skip to main content

Taxing Americans to Punish China Is Wrongheaded

National Taxpayers Union is extremely concerned about today’s announcement regarding new tariffs. The Trump Administration’s decision to increase taxes on billions of dollars of imports from China brings to mind one of President Reagan’s observations on trade policy:

“We're in the same boat with our trading partners. If one partner shoots a hole in the boat, does it make sense for the other one to shoot another hole in the boat? Some say, yes, and call that getting tough. Well, I call it stupid.”

According to Bryan Riley, Director of NTU’s Free Trade Initiative, “These new import taxes show how important it is for Congress to reclaim its authority under Article I Section 8 of the Constitution to collect duties and regulate commerce.” He pointed to the Global Trade Accountability Act from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), which would require the President to receive congressional approval before new taxes on imports could take effect.

Riley said, “Punishing Americans with new import taxes is wrongheaded. This is exactly the type of policy that President Reagan warned about. It’s not about America getting tough. It’s self-destructive and reckless.”