Hawley Calls for Higher Tariffs on China, Trade Deficit Reduction in Debt Limit Deal

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced the Raising Tariffs on Imports from China Actnew legislation to raise tariffs on imports from China until the United States’ unsustainable bilateral trade deficit comes into balance. Senator Hawley is urging debt limit talks to include reduction of the trade deficit.

“Under Joe Biden’s leadership, the Administration has failed to confront the structural deficit that matters most – our trade deficit with China,” said Senator Hawley. “Now is the time for decisive action to bring our trade back into balance, stop China’s annihilation of American industry, and bring back good-paying American jobs. Strong tariffs on China should be a major part of any debt ceiling agreement.”

Since the United States granted China permanent normal trade relations, our trade deficit has totaled more than $6 trillion, and has averaged $350 billion per year over the past decade. This has eroded the U.S. industrial base, enriched and empowered our nation’s greatest adversary, and resulted in the loss of 3.82 million good jobs, including 2.89 million manufacturing jobs.

Senator Hawley’s Raising Tariffs on Imports from China Act would:

  • Direct the President to calculate and publish every year the total value of imports into the United States from China and the total value of exports from the United States to China.
  • Require the President to impose an additional duty of 25% on all goods imported from China if a bilateral deficit is recorded during the preceding calendar year.
  • Permit the President to remove the duties if, during the preceding calendar year, the United States records a bilateral surplus with China.

Read the full bill text here.

In March, Senator Hawley introduced the Ending Normal Trade Relations with China Act, legislation that would revoke China’s normal trade relations status and subject imports from China to a higher base tariff rate.