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Shaheen Questions Top Administration Officials on Trump’s Trade War

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, questioned top Trump administration officials during a hearing this morning on the President’s trade war and its damaging impact on the New Hampshire economy. In addition, Shaheen warned that any deal to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) must include Canada, which is New Hampshire’s largest trading partner. 

Shaheen specifically questioned administration officials on President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on our allies, including Canada. Shaheen cited a Department of Defense (DoD) memorandum, which stated, “DoD continues to be concerned about the negative impact on our key allies,” regarding the administration’s decision to apply steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and the European Union.

Senator Shaheen’s line of questioning can be viewed here.

Shaheen also raised concerns about the impact of the administration’s decision to shift resources away from helping small businesses export in favor of implementing tariffs, stating, “Unfortunately, the administration has also used these agencies to carry out what I believe is an ill-advised trade war that is putting up new barriers to trade for America’s small businesses. I’m particularly concerned that the administration’s burdensome and opaque exemption process for steel and aluminum tariffs has created a mountain of red tape, forcing small businesses to spend precious time and resources to rework their operations.”

Shaheen urged the President to heed the warnings of Congress and end the trade war, concluding, “In particular, I urge the President to reach an agreement with Canada. Like all of us, I will be watching this issue closely, especially because Canada is New Hampshire’s largest trading partner, as it is for all of the United States. Any new deal regarding NAFTA that cuts such a key ally out of the agreement will lose my support.”

Shaheen’s full opening remarks can be viewed here. 

This morning’s hearing focused on the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 funding request for three of the nation’s federal trade agencies, including the International Trade Administration, the Bureau of Industry and Security and the U.S. International Trade Commission. 

Senator Shaheen is strongly opposed to the administration’s tariff policy, which has escalated a trade war with China, as well as critical US allies and New Hampshire trading partners, Canada in particular. In response to tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on key allies and trading partners, Shaheen sponsored bipartisan legislation to require congressional approval of tariffs. Shaheen, a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, has also called on the Small Business Administration (SBA) to investigate the impact of the Trump administration’s tariff policies on American small businesses, and sent a letter to President Trump urging him to reconsider his tariff plan. Senator Shaheen has met with small businesses across New Hampshire about the fall out that’s been felt in the Granite State from the administration’s ongoing trade war.