Arizona's GOP Congressional Contingent Is Giving Trump's Tariff Proposal Mixed Reviews

Arizona's GOP Congressional Contingent Is Giving Trump's Tariff Proposal Mixed Reviews

Arizona's GOP Congressional Contingent Is Giving Trump's Tariff Proposal Mixed Reviews

Congress has the power to challenge President Trump on new tariffs, but it's unlikely lawmakers will act even though almost all congressional Republicans oppose the president's trade policy because they believe it will harm the US economy. At nearly the same time, the president was announcing steel and aluminum tariffs that Ryan and others in the GOP say will slow growth and raise prices for consumers.

"I disagree with this action and fear its unintended consequences", the speaker of the House said in a statement while welcoming the temporary exemptions granted to Mexico and Canada. "Congress can not be complicit as the administration courts economic disaster", Flake said Thursday.

Jeff Flake has threatened to introduce legislation to nullify the President's tariffs if they are anything like what Donald Trump is predicting. Trade is now the issue that has driven the most distance between Ryan and the president he reluctantly endorsed during the campaign. John McCain, expressed concern that Trump's sharp tariffs will actually hurt the US economy.

Flake said the new tariffs, which function as taxes on imports, of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum would be detrimental to the USA economy and must be stopped. The U.S. will levy a 25 percent duty on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, the same level Trump promised when he revealed the plan March 1. 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.

Trump set the tariffs based on a Commerce Department investigation that found imports of the metals pose a risk to national security. "Our factories were left to rot and to rust all over the place", Trump said.

US trade policy has always been written with the intent to give the president broad authority to handle global trade without Congress nitpicking the details. Paul Seamus Ryan, the Vice President of Policy and Litigation at watchdog nonprofit Common Cause, told ThinkProgress that the payment Trump's attorney made to Daniels may have violated federal law, depending on where the money came from. He has urged Republican lawmakers to stay focused on reminding voters about the tax cuts rather than White House policy surprises and scandals. "Don't weaken his hand", said Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., a Trump ally who is running for the Senate in November. The party's odds of gaining a majority in the Senate, where the GOP holds a one-vote majority, are steeper because Democrats hold most of the seats up for election this year.

The speaker pointed to two pieces of must-pass legislation: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization and the omnibus spending package lawmakers are now negotiating ahead of a March 23 deadline.

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