Republicans in the House are maneuvering to block Pres. Donald Trump’s plans to cripple industries that are reliant on steel and aluminum imports. The House Ways and Means Committee and other House Republicans are concerned that imposing harsh tariffs is contrary to their core economic agenda and could potentially negatively affect the 2018 midterm elections. Some have voiced concerns that it will undermine the $1.5 trillion tax cut bill that was passed in December.
Reporter: "Paul Ryan says he's worried about a trade war, are you going to back down on the tariffs?
President Trump: "No, we're not backing down." pic.twitter.com/EUk8JUJVyU
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 5, 2018
via The Washington Post.
“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), said in a statement Monday. “The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains.”
How far will they go to stop Trump? That’s unclear. One anonymous congressional aide suggested that if blocking Trump fails, “other options remain on the table.” What does that even mean? Who knows with these clowns!
The Constitution gives Congress the authority over taxation and tariffs, but Congress has delegated trade negotiation and tariff authority to the president over recent decades. Congressional leaders believe that approach has worked well — until now.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) issued this statement.
“The administration and Congress must work together on trade policies that build off the momentum of the President’s tax cuts, which is why any tariffs should be narrow, targeted, and focused on addressing unfairly traded products, without disrupting the flow of fairly traded products for American businesses and consumers.”
Trump’s digging in, however.
We have large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada. NAFTA, which is under renegotiation right now, has been a bad deal for U.S.A. Massive relocation of companies & jobs. Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed. Also, Canada must..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2018
In a government system with checks and balances, the President should not have the power to unilaterally levy or alter tariffs. Congress needs to re-engage in the tariff process, which is why I’ve introduced the Global Trade Accountability Act. https://t.co/Uj3JtyiOOO
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) March 5, 2018Loading...
President Trump wants to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports. Here's what that could mean for your wallet and why you need to check your paycheck https://t.co/4u5t9mNnoF pic.twitter.com/5GWByBC86U
— CNN (@CNN) March 5, 2018
You’d almost think that the White House and Congress are opposing parties instead of the GOP controlling all three branches of government.
Some background, via New Century Times.
On [last] Thurrsday, after a lot of back and forth with his White House advisers, Donald Trump decided to announce that his administration will impose a heavy tariff on foreign-made steel and aluminum starting next week.
The tariffs will be set at 10 percent for aluminum and 25 percent for steel, and there’s no expiration date on the duration of these new economic penalties.
Trump met with aluminum and steel executives in the White House shortly before the announcement. There also seemed to be lots of confusion and debate over Trump’s plan among administration officials, as an anonymous White House source told CBS News that chief of staff John Kelly wasn’t fully briefed by the Commerce Department. In fact, the possibility of the announcement caught many White House officials off guard as they scrambled for answers. Reports say that the tariffs are a construct of both Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.
Our Steel and Aluminum industries (and many others) have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world. We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair and SMART TRADE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2018
Image via Wikimedia By Office of the Speaker (https://twitter.com/SpeakerRyan) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons