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WASHINGTON - Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Global Trade Accountability Act Thursday, a bill that would subject unilateral actions by the president to increase trade barriers to congressional approval.

“Congress has ceded far too much law making power to the Executive branch including the power to unilaterally raise tariffs,” Lee said. “Sudden hikes in trade barriers could wreak havoc on many small and midsize manufacturers in my home state of Utah that rely on imports and globally connected supply chains. Congress must be involved in any decision that would increase barriers to trade.”

The Global Trade Accountability Act would require both chambers of Congress to affirmatively approve of any “unilateral trade actions” by the president before they could take effect. The bill would only cover unilateral trade actions by the President to increase trade barriers. “Unilateral trade actions” in this legislation are defined as any increases in tariffs or duties, tightening of tariff-rate quotas or quantitative restrictions on imports, and other restrictions or prohibitions on imports.