A new bill aims to restrict presidential powers related to tariffs. The Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act of 2019 (BCTAA) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate last Wednesday. Its purpose is to “amend the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose limitations on the authority of the president to adjust imports that are determined to threaten to impair national security, and for other purposes.”

President Trumps cited Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 when he imposed aluminum and steel tariffs on countries from around the world, including U.S. allies, and when he imposed billions of dollars of tariffs on Chinese goods last year.

Proposed changes to the act include defining national security as “the protection of the United States from foreign aggression” and not “the protection of the general welfare of the United States.” The president would be required to submit a proposal to Congress and members of Congress would have a 60-day period to review the proposal before approving trade actions such as tariffs and quotas under Section 232.

If the bill is passed into law, it would apply to all future actions under Section 232 in addition to those taken within the last four years.

If the U.S. and China don’t make a deal on trade by the March 1, 2019 deadline set by the Trump Administration at the end of last year, tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products could be raised to 25 percent from the current 10-percent rate imposed on September 24, 2018.

Glass- and glazing-related materials on the list of products subject to the tariffs include:

  • Various float glass products;
  • Glass mirrors;
  • Glass frit;
  • Laminated safety glass;
  • Glass in the mass of fused quartz or other fused silica; and
  • Enamels, glazing, pigments, colors and lusters for the glass industries.

Base metal door closers suitable for buildings, base metal automatic door closers and base metal parts are also affected. Base metal, other than iron, steel, aluminum or zinc, mountings and fittings suitable for buildings are also included in the tariffs.