Trump Will Likely Need Democrats’ Votes To Pass Tariff Bill

The president-elect wants to slap a 35-percent tariff on imports from U.S. companies that move jobs overseas. Top Republicans in Congress are lukewarm to the idea.


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Within his first 100 days as president, Donald Trump says he'll ask Congress for legislation to punish companies that lay off U.S. workers and move their jobs overseas. To get it passed, he would likely need support from both sides of the aisle, including a key Republican from Greater Houston

Trump proposes that any company moving jobs abroad pay a 35 percent tariff on products they ship to the U.S. Such legislation would have to go through the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Congressman Kevin Brady of The Woodlands.

"Americans want change," Brady says. "They're tired of waking up every morning and seeing another U.S. company moving their auto parts, their research, their headquarters overseas."

Brady, who has a long record of supporting free trade, won't say whether he himself would support a tariff measure. The proposal has come under fire from other senior Republicans in Congress, including Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

But Gary Hufbauer of the Peterson Institute for International Economics says it could pass with help from Democrats.

"There are a lot of Democrats in the Congress who really don't like it when U.S. companies invest abroad," Hufbauer says. "I think they're not very familiar with economics. They just feel in their gut that if a company invests abroad, it could have better invested in the United States."

Hufbauer says, though, that such a tariff would almost certainly lead other countries to retaliate with tariffs against the U.S.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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