R Sheet on Section 232 Reform

Key Points

Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 gives the president power to unilaterally adjust tariffs for the purpose of protecting national security.
In response to recent uses of Section 232 that seem unrelated to national security, members of Congress have proposed restructuring Section 232.
The two leading bills are currently the Trade Security Act (S. 365) and the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act (S. 287).
S. 365 establishes a congressional review process that would provide for procedurally protected resolutions to counteract presidential actions under Section 232. The consideration of such resolutions would not be expedited and would still be subject to a presidential veto.
On the other hand, S. 287 would require all actions under Section 232 to receive congressional backing to become effective. This would significantly shift the balance of power between Congress and the president.
S. 287 also narrows the definition of national security and includes a mechanism to regulate the granting of exclusions.

Note: This version is updated to correct an error in the version posted on Feb. 19, 2019.

Featured Publications