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CEOs Support Section 232 Reform


CEOs Support Section 232 Reform

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The members of the American Business Conference (ABC), CEOs of midsize, job-creating companies, today expressed their support for The Trade Security Act of 2018, introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R, OH), Joni Ernst (R, IA) and Doug Jones (D, AL) on August 1.  The Act would give to the Department of Defense authority to make national security determinations under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.  Heretofore this authority was in the hands of the Secretary of Commerce.  Summarizing the views of ABC members, John Endean, president of ABC, said: 

"The Trade Security Act of 2018 is an important corrective to current law.  It gives lead authority for the investigation and determination of the national security impact of certain trade practices to the Department best able to perform those tasks:  the Department of Defense. 

"In recent months, we have witnessed the expansion of 'national security' to justify the imposition of tariffs on products that are not obviously crucial to national security however economically important they otherwise might be.  Additionally these tariffs have been levied against countries with which the United States has close economic, military, and intelligence relations.  The concept of 'national security' has thus been stretched to the breaking point.

"We note that The Trade Security Act of 2018 correctly contemplates a deliberative process that would include the Department of Commerce.  It also gives to Congress, consistent with Congress's Constitutional authority over international commerce, the right to disapprove of Presidential actions under Section 232.  All in all, The Trade Security Act of 2018 is an important corrective that does not impede the ability of our government to pursue a strong trade agenda."

The American Business Conference was founded in 1981 by Arthur Levitt, Jr.  ABC's current chairman is Alfred P. West, Jr., CEO of SEI Investments, Oaks, Pennsylvania.


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