VIDEO: Yoder Raises Tariff Concerns with Treasury Secretary in Appropriations Hearing
Washington, D.C. – This morning, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) raised concerns about the Trump Administration’s recent policy announcements regarding tariff policy with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a hearing in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services.
The following is a transcript of Representative Yoder’s question and Secretary Mnuchin’s answer:
Representative Yoder: “I appreciate you bringing up trade because I’d like to ask you a little bit about the tariffs discussion happening and the recent policies the Administration has announced.
“In Kansas, many of my constituents – many of our businesses – rely on trade and exports. Over 400,000 jobs in Kansas are supported by trade – $17 billion in annual exports – to help boost our economy. Many of my constituents – many of our local businesses, many of our farmers – believe that tariffs and the potential trade wars that can result will inevitably create big challenges for Kansas workers and farmers.
“Tariffs on steel and aluminum will negatively impact Kansans who work in manufacturing. I’ve got a GM plant in my district with 2,200 people employed. Retaliation from our trade partners will also end up hurting Kansas farmers and ranchers who are already struggling as they try to export wheat, beef, and other agriculture products around the world.
“I’m concerned with everything that we’ve done to help our constituents with tax reform, that tariffs the President recently announced are going to undermine some of these recent gains. Do you share any of these concerns about the impact of these tariffs and do you believe these tariffs will make American businesses more competitive on the global market?
Secretary Mnuchin: ”First let me just say, I have participated, and we meet on a weekly basis on trade, on our economic team. These things are discussed very carefully and we are trying to balance different issues.
“The President is personally involved in these decisions. I think on the steel and aluminum tariffs we are trying to balance protecting these industries, which are very important, with making sure we don’t to undue harm to the economy.
“As the President just announced, Canada is a very significant partner that buys steel and sells steel. To the extent that we are successful in renegotiating NAFTA, those tariffs won’t apply to Mexico and Canada. We look forward to the president releasing those specific details and working with other people.
“We are not looking to get into trade wars. We are looking to make sure that US companies can compete fairly around the world.”