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Finally, Congress is finding its voice.

Finally, Congress is finding its voice.

President Donald Trump is not the first chief executive to steamroll the legislature.

His predecessor boldly deployed the presidential phone and pen, too—and now watches his regulatory snarl come undone.

Indeed, the Legislative Branch has shunted authority to the Presidency since at least the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Now, it too frequently seems unyieldingly partisan and noisily inert.

But trump’s adventurism with trade might be prodding lawmakers toward overdue self-repair.

The Senate on July 11 voted 88-11 to call for language in a government-funding bill giving Congress a say in tariffs based on national security.

The administration acted under a security provision of trade law to impose its levies on goods from traditional allies.

Diluted from a tougher but unsuccessful proposal calling for congressional approval of tariffs related to security, the Senate vote is merely a gesture.

Still, it expressed well-founded concern. And it was bipartisan.

The House Financial Services Committee extended the message in a July 12 grilling of Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin.

No doubt goaded by the administration’s July 10 announcement of a second round of tariffs on Chinese goods addressing intellectual property concerns, Republicans and Democrats alike voiced alarm.

“At the end of the day, a tariff is a tax—a tax that is usually passed on to the consumer,” said Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) in his opening statement.

Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said, “The Trump administration appears to be flying by the seat of its pants with no plan to address the possibility of a recession, the high prices consumers will pay, and the resulting losses of millions of American jobs.”

How many Americans knew they were assuming the risks of higher taxes and recession when they voted for Trump? How many want a trade war?

“I don’t think we’re in a trade war,” Mnuchin told lawmakers.

Really? On trade, Congress needs to give this administration better trousers—and, in the process, start regaining lost clout.

(From the subscription area of www.ogj.com, posted July 13, 2018; author’s email: bobt@ogjonline.com)

Abu Dhabi Polymers Co. Ltd. (Borouge), a joint venture Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and Borealis AG, has let a contract to a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont SPA for work related to a project designed to expand production capacities at Borouge’s integrated polyolefins complex in Ruwais, about 250 km west of Abu Dhabi City, UAE.

The US drilling rig count reached 1,054 units working for the week ended July 13, up 2 rigs from a week ago, according to Baker Hughes data. The count is up 102 units from this time a year ago when the count stood at 952.


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