Sen. Jeff Flake To Propose Bill To 'Nullify' Trump's Tariffs

Gary Cohn

Gary Cohn

"Congress can not be complicit as the administration courts economic disaster. The talk of cancelling NAFTA and now imposing these steel tariffs have just interjected uncertainty into the economy where it just wasn't necessary".

Republican senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said: "There's really a growing level of optimism because we were returning certainty to the American and Wisconsin economy".

It will be pretty interesting if Flake ends up introducing legislation to counter Trump's tariffs, potentially setting up yet another clash between the two politicians.

Companies may claim that Trump's use of the national security rationale is inconsistent with his protectionist public statements, and therefore is an illegitimate use of Section 232, said Raj Bhala, a specialist in global trade law at Kansas University School of Law. For good measure, he lectured Trump and his enablers: "Tariffs will not add thousands of American jobs".

Johnson said he expected Trump's action, which takes effect in 15 days, to be challenged in court.

Trump invited the workers to speak. That includes information on domestic and foreign production of both metals that would justify the "national security" needs cited by Trump.

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

The Business Roundtable also blasted Trump: "These tariffs are a major unforced error by President Trump, putting America's economic progress at risk".

"I'm disappointed because we just passed a tax bill and this kind of flies in the face of that".

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"I mean, it would be a tough go in a Republican primary", Flake, a one-term Arizona Republican, told NBC's Meet the Press With Chuck Todd. Lawmakers like Roberts fear retaliation from foreign nations on USA exports, and agriculture is primed to take a hit.

He said it's tough to make the case that the Republican Party is still the party of free trade.

The people were not authorized to discuss details in advance and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The president suggested earlier Thursday he would provide temporary exemptions for Canada and Mexico as he aims to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Todd asked him if other Republicans should join him in condemning Trump's behavior.

Trump says he's sticking with his initial plan for import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. "I don't think we should be going against the president before we see what the deal is". And Democrat Conor Lamb, who is proving to be competitive in next week's special election in a Trump district outside of Pittsburgh, also backed the proposal - even using it to outflank his opponent, Rick Saccone, who also supports tariffs...

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

Trump tweeted Thursday: "Looking forward to 3:30 P.M. meeting today at the White House". The White House has not yet clarified the tweet.

Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican who chairs the Senate Finance Committee and who has enjoyed a close relationship with Trump, called the president's latest move policy "misguided".

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