New Year, New Congress
When the dispute over government funding is resolved, Congress will take on a variety of important issues, including passage of the new NAFTA – the USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement). USCMA will require approval by both the House and Senate. The treaty has an uphill climb as many Democrats in the House have expressed reservations about the new deal. In addition, Congress is considering several bills to reign in the President’s power to impose tariffs on national security grounds (Section 232). Unfortunately, the bills introduced to date deal with future 232 tariffs, so legislation would not immediately impact the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs imposed in 2018.
House Democrats are expected to use their new subpoena power to investigate a variety of issues in the Trump Administration. Look for many more public hearings on various controversies now that House Committees are chaired by the Democrats.
Most Congressional observers believe that the best chance for bipartisanship is on a bill to invest in and improve the country’s infrastructure. However, differences in how to fund an infrastructure package may doom any legislation.
Support for manufacturing will continue to be found in both the House and the Senate, but actual legislation that would help manufacturers, including addressing health care costs, regulatory reform and ending damaging tariffs will be very difficult to pass through a divided Congress.
PMA will continue to provide updates on the new Congress and the policy debates in Washington, D.C. that directly impact your business.