NSGA Fights to Eliminate Tariffs

MOUNT PROSPECT, ILLINOIS (February 18, 2019) - NSGA Director of Public Affairs Larry Weindruch went to Washington, D.C. earlier this month to participate in the Americans for Free Trade coalition’s lobbying day. The goal was to consolidate support in opposition to tariffs, many of which target sports, fitness and recreational products.

The urgency of the trip to Washington was accelerated by a March 2 deadline for the U.S. and China to reach a trade agreement. Without an agreement, tariffs would escalate to 25 percent from the current 10 percent. While there won’t likely be a signed agreement until President Trump and Chinese President Xi meet, a memorandum of understanding would be the first step, and that memo would need to include recognition of American intellectual property rights.

Weindruch met with staff of Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Steve Daines (R-MT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL 10). None disagreed with NSGA’s position that the tariffs were bad for business and bad for consumers, a tax that circumvents Congressional legislative authority.

Sen. Portman has introduced a bill (S. 365) to amend section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to require the Secretary of Defense to initiate investigations and to provide for congressional disapproval of certain actions, which covers tariffs initiated under “national security” conditions.

Also, U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) are working to restore Congress' constitutional trade responsibilities by sponsoring the bipartisan Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act (S. 287). In the House, a companion version (H.R. 940) was introduced by Congressmen Mike Gallagher (R-WI 8) and Ron Kind (D- WI 3).