On June 26, 2018, on behalf of more than 200 industry trade associations, local chambers of commerce and other business organizations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate, asking them to support legislation (S. 3013), a bi-partisan bill sponsored by Sen. Corker and others that would require the President to submit to Congress any proposal to raise tariffs in the interest of national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

The letter states that the U.S. business and agriculture communities are deeply concerned that the President’s unrestricted use of section 232 to impose tariffs may not be in the national interest and will result in retaliatory tariffs from our largest trading partners and closest allies, and that retaliation will have serious negative economic impacts on the United States.

The letter also states that the new threat to levy a 25% tariff on all imported automobiles and auto parts would inflict enormous harm on the U.S. economy, affecting approximately $350 billion of imports. Retaliation on the same order would be expected. The nation’s largest manufacturing sector — the U.S. auto industry — and many downstream industries would be “profoundly harmed” by this action, as would sectors such as agriculture and chemical manufacturing that would be targeted in retaliation. The letter claims the economic impact of this action would be approximately 10 times larger than that of the tariffs on imported metals.