Senators Voice Trade and Tariff Concerns during Commerce Hearing on Infrastructure

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, held a hearing titled, “Rebuilding Infrastructure in America: Administration Perspectives,” on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

The hearing focused on the Administration’s infrastructure proposal, including a discussion of various policy reforms, permitting improvements, and program ideas outlined in the White House’s proposal.

Chairman Thune had a question for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue regarding broadband development in rural America, and the Trump Administration’s plan to expand coverage.


Meanwhile, lawmakers had plenty of questions regarding the impact that the White House’s new steel and aluminum tariffs could have on various sectors of the U.S. economy.

Ag Secretary Perdue was asked if the administration’s import tariffs on steel and aluminum will “metastasize into a full-blown trade war” that could include, among other things, retaliatory tariffs on agricultural products.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was asked about the White House’s threats to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Montana Senator Jon Tester echoed the concerns of many lawmakers on the Commerce Committee about the trade actions being pursued by the White House.


Witness testimony, opening statements, and a video of the hearing are available on