GOP Lawmakers Voice Little Support For Trump's Tariffs

Marsha Scott
March 11, 2018

Economic analysts warn that a trade dispute sparked by the tariffs could damage communities that backed the president in 2016.

GOP leaders had lobbied the White House from moving forward, writing letters, speaking out in the media and through outreach to the president and his advisers.

House Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement following the tariff announcement that included no mention of any legislative effort or remedy. Trump was still hearing last-minute pleas from opponents of the tariff plan, and White House officials said they couldn't predict how the day would shake out.

Members of the US Congress's Republican majority are dismayed over Donald Trump's contention new trade tariffs. Trump plans to campaign for Republican Rick Saccone on Saturday. "He's going to need to be able to declare some victory here".

Now, Trump is risking a trade war to fulfill a political promise to the voters who helped put him in the White House.

Without disclosing the names of any other country that could hope for exemption, Sanders said: "That would be a case-by-case and country-by-country basis, but it would be determined whether or not there is a national security exemption".

Walker, during a pair of stops Wednesday at Wisconsin businesses that use imported steel, argued that the tariffs could force them to move production out of the United States to avoid the tariffs.

Cornyn is among the Republicans who've bucked the president on the tariffs, warning that they risk undermining strong USA economic growth and undercutting the benefits of the Republican tax cut legislation passed past year.

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The president reiterated that he would levy tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum but would "have a right to go up or down depending on the country and I'll have a right to drop out countries or add countries".

"These are people that voted for him and supported him in these auto-producing states", said Cody Lusk, president of the American International Automobile Dealers Association.

Many Republicans hold that imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum are an abuse of this law and are pushing to restrict it. He suggested Australia and "other countries" might also be spared, a shift that could soften the worldwide blow amid threats of retaliation by trading partners. The latest round of a almost yearlong renegotiation effort is concluding this week in Mexico City. "Going ahead, that could all be reversed with a trade war", Flake said.

Even if there is an initial victory from a friendly court to stay Trump's tariffs, a case would face hard appeals, according to Mark Warner, a Toronto-based trade lawyer with MAAW Law who practices in the USA and Canada. A WTO decision wouldn't halt US tariffs, but rather authorize retaliation from trading partners. Joe Manchin said, "It's past time to defend our interests, our security and our workers in the global economy, and that is exactly what the president is proposing with these tariffs". "It's the wrong way to incentivize the creation of a new & modern #NAFTA".

"We just want fairness", he added. In public and in private, Trump still speaks frequently of his victories 16 months ago in Democratic-leaning states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and MI, where working-class white voters helped propel him to victory.

And overseas, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said the European Union could respond by taxing American goods including bourbon, blue jeans and Harley Davidson motorcycles. The prices of a host of products made from steel and aluminum are expected to rise, and several countries have already threatened to impose their own tariffs on US goods in retaliation.

"We're going to be very fair, we're going to be very flexible but we're going to protect the American worker as I said I would do in my campaign", Trump said during a Cabinet meeting. The iconic motorcycles are produced in Ryan's home state of Wisconsin, and Kentucky, the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is well-known for its bourbon.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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