Sending Office: Honorable Sean P. Duffy
Sent By:

Cosponsor the U.S. Reciprocal Trade Act

Give the President flexibility in responding to foreign tariffs


Dear Colleague:

In an open and free market, U.S. workers, who make the finest products in the world, will outcompete all comers. Unfortunately, many countries deny us a free market by refusing to compete against the U.S. on a level playing field. Tariffs and particularly
the nontariff barriers imposed on U.S. products by other countries worsens our trade deficits and puts our industries, and the workers who support them, at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace.

Clearly, this unequal treatment must be corrected. However, under current law, the President has few tools to respond foreign tariffs and nontariff barriers in a targeted manner. That’s why we need to give the President more flexibility in responding to
foreign tariffs on U.S. products, reciprocally. My bill, the U.S. Reciprocal Trade Act (USRTA), does just that.

The USRTA permits the President, after appropriate consultations with Congress, to:

  1. negotiate and enter into agreements that commit foreign countries to lower their trade barriers; and
  2. impose reciprocal tariffs on U.S. trading partners that refuse to lower their tariff and non-tariff barriers. 

Although those authorities are critical, it is equally critical for Congress to maintain oversight of Presidential use of this authority. The USRTA maintains that oversight by:

  1. creating a mechanism for Congress to consider a resolution of disapproval for USRTA trade actions;
  2. requiring notice and consultation with Congress 45 days prior to trade actions;
  3. publishing proposed actions in the Federal Register for public comment; and
  4. imposing a three-year sunset on the authority;

Improving the President’s negotiating power with this added flexibility will substantially reduce trade barriers faced by U.S. exporters leading to fairer markets.

For more information or to cosponsor please contact Ryan McCormack ( on my staff. Thank you for your consideration.



Sean P. Duffy

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Trade

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