(House of Representatives - June 07, 2018)

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[Page H4853]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Costa) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. COSTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about the 
administration's approach to trade and the pain that we are already 
feeling due to the shortsighted and poorly-considered decisions that 
have been made.
  Since the administration announced its plans in March to use wide-
ranging tariffs to address trade imbalances, I have been warning the 
President and the Nation that this is a wrongheaded approach. So many 
of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, I believe, agree.
  We all want to see American jobs secure and increase opportunities 
for our economy; that is without doubt. But raising broadly-defined 
tariffs will do, I believe, just the opposite. We all know, or at least 
most of us know, that the most likely effect of raising tariffs will be 
other countries adjusting their trade measures to protect their 
economies and their industries and their workers.
  Let's realize that, in the global economy that we live in today, most 
countries have leverage. I hope the President realizes this. And what 
happens as a result? We have a trade war. That is where we are going, 
and I have been saying since March, no one, Mr. Speaker, no one wins in 
a trade war; which is why both Republicans and Democrats have publicly 
expressed grave concerns with the administration's tariff-based 
approach to trade.
  But beyond the warnings and concerns, Mr. Speaker, we are now feeling 
the negative impacts of the administration's approach. Without a doubt, 
our country is beginning to engage in these stages of a trade war.
  Tariffs, for example, on California agriculture products are already 
in place. Forty-four percent of California's agriculture economy, which 
is the number 1 agricultural State in the Nation, 44 percent of it is 
based upon international trade. Almonds, wine, pistachios, citrus, all 
face increased tariffs on exports to China, and that is just the start. 
It is also taking place in Mexico and Canada.
  I met with a California almond processor yesterday who told me that, 
as a result of these tariffs, the Chinese buyers are staying away from 
the table. He told me that this time of the year he usually has sold a 
significant portion of his harvest to Chinese buyers, but because of 
the uncertainty of these tariffs he hasn't sold a single pound.

  Mr. Speaker, the retaliatory tariffs imposed in reaction to this 
administration's steel and aluminum tariffs are already impacting the 
California agriculture economy, which, again, 44 percent of it is based 
upon international trade, and it is hurting our relationships with many 
of our allies in Europe, as well as our neighbors to the north and to 
the south.
  Yes, there are trade imbalances in the global market we live in, and 
we should address them. There is bipartisan agreement we should address 
them. But the way to address these trade imbalances is through 
successful re-negotiation of NAFTA, negotiating trade agreements with 
our European and Pacific Rim allies. That is the way to deal with the 
trade imbalances.
  We cannot address trade imbalances or arrive at mutually beneficial 
agreements through trade wars, plain and simple. What's more, the 
President and the Congress must work together on trade agreements.
  Based upon where we are today, it looks like it will require us in 
Congress to re-assert our constitutional authority and responsibility 
to regulate international trade agreements. That is part of our job. 
This will take hard work, bipartisan negotiations, and serious policy 
deliberations which, in turn, requires that we overcome our partisan 
division and come together as America's Congress.
  I call on my colleagues today to join me in real negotiations, in 
real bipartisan work, and in the type of policy deliberations that our 
Nation needs and that America deserves. We can do this and we must do 
  Our country currently is being led by this administration into a very 
real trade war, but it is not too late to stop it, and it is Congress' 
responsibility, frankly, to say, time out. Let's sit down and work 
together with our allies in Europe, our neighbors to the north and to 
the south of us, and in the Pacific Rim, to do what is right, and that 
is to ensure that we protect American workers, American industries, 
American agriculture, and, yes, that we don't engage in a trade war 
that will lead to no good end.
  We can fix this trade imbalance, and we should, and we must assert