Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman David Scott (GA-13)
Today, Congressman David Scott (GA-13) delivered the following statement during the House Financial Services Committee hearing entitled “The Annual Testimony of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the International Financial System.”
Click here to watch video of Congressman David Scott’s remarks.
Transcript of Exchange with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin
MR. SCOTT: “Thank you very much. Welcome Mr. Secretary. The people of this nation are very worried and they are very concerned about this trade war. Both Democrats and Republicans are very worried about this trade war. Now I want you to listen very carefully to me because nobody, no state can be more devastatingly impacted by this than my beloved State of Georgia.
“Let’s take poultry for example. Georgia is the leading poultry producer in the world, and according to our National Chicken Counsel and leading chicken producers like Tyson’s Food, in 2014, U.S. chicken exports to Mexico, one of our most important markets, alone totaled $800 million dollars. But during the same period, Brazil’s exports went up from $50 million to $200 million. If we continue to put up these trade barriers in Mexico, it is clear as a bell to anyone looking at this that they will take even much more of the market leaving American chicken farmers and producers out in the cold.
“Let’s take another one. Let’s look at aluminum for example. In Georgia, we have massive manufacturing users for aluminum. And it’s not just Georgia, but it’s all across the nation. Imagine, go into a grocery store and just look at how much of our food and beverages are contained in aluminum cans. Can you imagine the impact that will have?
“I want to go to another point. Did you know that half of the U.S. pecan production is exported to China and that Georgia produces 1/3rd of all pecans produced in the United States? I want you to recognize Georgia. I want you to tell the President how damaging this trade war and tariffs will be to Georgia businesses, Georgia farmers, Georgia manufacturers, and Georgia employees. When the aluminum manufacturing tariffs come in, there will be a 1/18 ratio in loss of jobs.
“Now Mr. Secretary, my question for you is this: are you ready to be the one to take full responsibility, as the Treasury Secretary in charge, when Georgia and this nation inevitably enters into this high inflationary rate? Do you know who’s going to pay for this increase? It’s the American consumers that are going to do that. It’s going to be the Georgia residents. It’s going to be the jobs in manufacturing.
“You say that the economy is moving on all cylinders. I agree with you, but what I’m curious about is the cavalier attitude that this administration has on the loss of jobs, the side effects, while we’re riding on this sugar high. I just want to ask if you’re ready to take full responsibility for the downsides, when the darkness comes? Are you ready to?”
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: “I am, I share your concerns and I have said we are not taking this lightly. We are monitoring all the specific issues carefully and we are concerned about the job losses on the areas that you are concerned about.”
MR. SCOTT: “And do you understand the real outside impacts this is going to have on our people in Georgia? I want to make sure because we are going to be paying close attention. Now in the Senate someone mentioned this, the Senate passed resolution 88-11. The resolution was largely symbolic, but it said that there may be and should be an expanded congressional role in overseeing the tariffs decisions and I’m concerned, do you support this?”
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: “I do not.”