Congressional Republicans Unlikely To Act To Counter Trump On Tariffs

Congressional Republicans Unlikely To Act To Counter Trump On Tariffs

Flake, like many Republicans, has expressed deep concerns about Trump's plans to issue new tariffs on aluminum and steel and says he's ready to fight legislatively if needed.

"We are extremely anxious about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan", House Speaker Paul D. Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said last week. "We will continue to urge the administration to narrow this policy so that it is focused only on those countries and practices that violate trade law".

The update came as congressional Republicans and business groups braced for the impact of expected tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, appearing resigned to additional protectionist trade actions as Trump signaled upcoming economic battles with China.

One of the GOP's major donors, Charles Koch, wrote in The Post: "The administration's recent decision to impose major steel and aluminum tariffs - on top of higher tariffs on washing machines and solar panels - will have the same harmful effect". He signed separate proclamations ordering the tariffs.

The tariffs will not initially apply to Canada and Mexico, the president said, adding security and trade partners could negotiate to seek exemptions.

Countries could challenge Trump's action in the World Trade Organization, putting this global forum in the uncomfortable position of determining what is in the "essential security interests" of the USA, in accordance with an existing agreement on tariffs and trade.

Flake said he would "immediately draft and introduce legislation to nullify these tariffs", which he called "ill-advised". "Tariffs married with uncertainty are even worse".


Trump set the tariffs based on a Commerce Department investigation that found imports of the metals pose a risk to national security.

"Simply put: This is a tax hike on American manufacturers, workers and consumers". Both said they are continuing to lobby the president to change course.

Flake has been a vocal critic of the president.

Louisiana, for example, is a huge importing state and relies on steel and aluminum imports for its gas industries.

The Democratic Party, meanwhile, is treating Trump's tariffs like it does most of the president's policy positions - with raw, dripping contempt. Tariffs could also result in Europe raising prices on American imports. It's big government picking winners and losers.

All of the heartburn was created by Trump's radical and hasty trade announcement.

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