February 07, 2019

Law360 Quotes Ashley Craig on the Battle Over Trump’s Trade Power

2 min

On February 7, 2019, Ashley Craig was quoted in Law360 on how lawmakers are dueling over whether to restrict or expand Trump's power to set new import tariffs. According to the article, the early days of the 116th Congress have seen at least three different bills offered up to rein in Trump's trade abilities, with much of the effort focusing on reforming a Cold War-era law to impose duties on national security grounds.

For now, there is considerable momentum on the side of limiting Trump, rather than empowering him with more trade authority. That's no accident, considering the extent to which the president has based his trade approach on hitting allies and adversaries alike with a wave of tariffs, according to Craig.

"Clearly the legislation introduced … to curtail some of his authority is in response to the last 12 to 16 or even 18 months of the trade rhetoric," Craig added.

Even if a bill could pass, it would need to do so with a two-thirds majority in each chamber to overrule Trump's almost certain veto. Craig surmised that no bill is close to that level of support.

"I don't think we're there just yet. Look by way of comparison at potential need for veto override on other matters," Craig said, nodding to congressional battles over funding and the government. "The bellwether in my opinion is when Trump's core starts to feel the heat and the outcry starts to land on his favorite media outlet, and we're just not there yet on trade."