Dear Chairman Reichert:
For the second time in a week, we will gather this afternoon for a hearing on the Administration's trade policies, without an Administration representative present. The topic for today's hearing is the exclusion process for Section 232 tariffs on aluminum and steel. Like we have heard from constituents, businesses, and other stakeholders in our districts who have encountered challenges in navigating the exclusion process that the Department of Commerce has implemented. It is baffling to us that this hearing will take place without the participation of anyone from the agency that is administering the exclusion process.
To date, the Administration has imposed tariffs on more than $80 billion of imports entering the United States. In response, America's trading partners have imposed their own tariffs on nearly $60 billion of U.S. exports. The Administration has reasons for imposing some of these tariffs, including a global production overcapacity crisis in steel and aluminum and the Chinese government's persistent intellectual property abuses. Perhaps the Administration has some explanation for the additional tariffs that are in process. Hopefully, the Administration also has a strategy for how it intends to leverage these many tariffs to achieve its policy goals.
With the proliferation and escalation of tariffs, however, the U.S. economy and the global economy are on edge. We cannot continue to pretend that this is business as usual. The Administration owes answers to the Members of the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee and. more importantly, to the American people about its trade policy goals and whether or not they are working.