Rep. Nancy Mace: ‘Lifting Tariffs Makes the Costs of Goods Cheaper for Every American’

Melanie Arter | October 24, 2022 | 11:57am EDT
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This photo taken on October 14, 2019 shows containers stacked at the port in Qingdao, in China's eastern Shandong province. - China's imports and exports fell more than expected in September, official data showed on October 14, as US tariffs and cooling demand at home and abroad hit trade in the world's second largest economy. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
This photo taken on October 14, 2019 shows containers stacked at the port in Qingdao, in China's eastern Shandong province. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) said Sunday that she supports lifting all tariffs, including tariffs on China, to deal with inflation.

When asked whether she supports lifting tariffs on China, which were put in place by the Trump administration, Mace said, “Well, I actually proposed a bill when we had the baby formula shortage that would lift tariffs all over the world on baby formula imports, no matter where they were coming from.

“I think that tariffs can be utilized when we're negotiating different deals or trade deals with other countries, but, at the end of the day, it is an increased cost on the consumer, and that is one example where I worked actively to try to bring prices down and bring greater inventory when that issue happened, and that is a place where you can see some benefit,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

As far as lifting all tariffs, Mace said, “Yes, I do agree with that. Lifting tariffs makes the costs of goods cheaper for every American, but one of the other things we have to look at -- and it cannot be ignored -- is government spending. Now, for decades, both Republicans and Democrats alike have had issues with increasing the deficit and deficit spending. We have got to look at our government spending.

“We need to look at, more broadly, the supply chain and incentivizing companies to perhaps get out of China and come back to North America, the United States, Central and South America, a little bit closer here. So, the price of shipping goods and manufacturing goods, if we can get those prices down and make the supply chain more efficient, that is one way,” she said.

“Another thing that we have to address are taxes in this country. The infrastructure bill last year, there were 42 new taxes, and so all these things contribute to the rise in inflation, and, of course, Congress can't control the Fed, but when you print trillions and trillions of dollars every single year, again, that is just another factor into issues that increase inflation,” the congresswoman said.

When asked whether she’s on board with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s plan to refuse to lift the debt limit unless Democrats agree to spending cuts, Mace said, “I support that strategy, because, look, at the end of the day, when COVID-19 happened, you had the federal government and state governments too literally shut companies down.

“Businesses had to make tough decisions about how they were going to keep their doors open, and the federal government just kept getting record revenue year over year and hasn't had to make those tough decisions, and I can tell you, I sit on the Oversight Committee, where we look at waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal agency level, and there is waste in every single agency,” she said.

“I was happy to see there were 44 people charged with a crime of defrauding the government over $250 million over PPP funds, but that everywhere. It is broad. It's in every agency. We can find ways to be more responsible with our spending, just like we forced companies and businesses to during COVID. So, that's one of the ways that I would approach it,” the congresswoman added. 

TAPPER: But isn't the way to do that through legislating, through meeting with leaders of the Senate, whoever is in charge of that party, meeting with people in the White House and coming up with a way to reduce spending or at least to reduce the rate that spending is going up, instead of potentially defaulting, which we have seen it happen. It wreaks havoc on the economy and hurts working people, among others.

MACE: Well, we have seen Republicans for a year-and-a-half now talk about more responsible spending, looking at the deficit spending in these bills that have been passed talking about how we can move this country forward, and we have been shut out. 

I know, when we did the infrastructure bill on the House side anyway, last year, every Republican was shut out of being part of that discussion, not a single amendment, and I had a couple of nonpartisan amendments, for example.

So, Republicans have tried to work with, reach across the aisle, and have been shut out of many of those conversations, and so I think that is a way to negotiate moving forward, but we have to get serious about it, and I filed a bill earlier this year that would balance the budget in about five years, looking at making spending cuts about 5 cents for every future dollar the future government spent.

If we made those cuts across every agency, you could balance the budget in five years. That is responsible. It's reasonable, and it gives the federal government a time frame, five years, to be able to do that, and that seems very normal. If we could do that, then we wouldn't need to threaten -- use the threat of the debt ceiling as a negotiating tool.

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