Ryan, Johnson speak out against Trump tariffs

Aaron Brown
March 11, 2018

The end result could erode the president's base of support with rural America and even the blue-collar workers the president says he's trying to help. The tariffs will take effect in 15 days. Having overcome the opposition, Trump relished Thursday's signing ceremony, where he was flanked by steelworkers - some carrying their hard hats - who lavished praise on his decision.

Trump, who announced his decision surrounded by steelworkers, said he was fulfilling a campaign promise.

Congress now has several options: it could pass a law taking back from Trump powers regarding commercial matters, which have been doled out to the White House progressively since the 1930s for purposes of efficiency.In the case of these tariffs, the Republican leader used a 1962 law authorizing the president to tax certain imports in the name of national security protection - legislation rarely invoked in the past except in the notable case of oil. He'll likely need to carry those states again if he hopes to win re-election in 2020.

Members of the US Congress's Republican majority are dismayed over Donald Trump's contention new trade tariffs.

"Trump is not someone who retreats", said Stephen Moore, an economist with the conservative Heritage Foundation and a former campaign adviser. A statement from Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady applauded Trump for exempting Canada and Mexico, but reminds him that Congress "has constitutional authority over trade with foreign nations", even if that authority was previously ceded to the president. And like the president, Republicans are making political calculations in doing so. That scenario, Tom Donohue said, would endanger the economic momentum from the GOP tax cuts and Trump's rollback of regulations.

Sarah Sanders further referred that lawmakers should not be in a state of shock after the President's move, as "If they were caught off guard, they simply haven't been listening to what he's been saying and what he's been talking about and how he's promised to make good trade deals", she said.

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Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin called the tariffs "a very risky action" that could put agricultural and manufacturing jobs in his state and across the country at risk.

"Of course this will have to go through the usual litigation process, either the WTO or the courts to see how this works", Cornyn said at an energy conference in Houston.

Janesville Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has made it clear that he is not in support of the President's move. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan's spokeswoman, Ashlee Strong, said on Monday in a statement, "We are extremely anxious about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan".

Republicans fear Trump's action risks distracting voters and disrupting the US economy just months before the midterm election that will test his protectionist policies, populist rhetoric and chaotic approach to the presidency.

The Trade Partnership, a consulting firm, said the tariffs would increase USA employment in the steel and aluminum sector by about 33,000 jobs but would cost 179,000 jobs in the rest of the economy.

Lawmakers from both parties said Trump's action on trade would hurt the economy and increase prices for consumers and businesses. But Trump's comments and tweets early Monday suggested he was also using them as leverage in the current talks to revise NAFTA.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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