Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Many GOP Lawmakers Oppose Trump's Trade Policy. But What Can They Do?

Many GOP Lawmakers Oppose Trump's Trade Policy. But What Can They Do?

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.

Trump said on Thursday that Canada and Mexico would be exempted from the tariffs as they try to negotiate a larger trade agreement. 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...

"I will immediately draft and introduce legislation to nullify these tariffs, and I urge my colleagues to pass it before this exercise in protectionism inflicts any more damage on the economy", Flake said in a statement.

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

Congressional GOP leaders have signaled they want to narrow the administration's steel and aluminum tariffs before they are implemented, the same day President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out "subversion" at VA MORE pushed forward with the measures despite widespread GOP backlash.

Even some of Trump's most ardent defenders seemed ready for a fight.

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As Trump vows to sign new bilateral treaties and amend the North American Free Trade Agreement, congressional leaders could seize the moment to reaffirm their role in United States trade policy. Harmful trade policies like this will only hurt American consumers and businesses by driving up manufacturing costs and diminishing productivity. "'We are calling it tax reform" instead of a tax cut", he explained.

Wisconsin cranberries and Harley-Davidson motorcycles are on the European Union's list of products that could face tariffs in response to Trump's action. And in OH, 410,300 workers are directly employed in industries that use steel and aluminum, according to Crain's Cleveland. As an ideological matter, tariffs raise the ire of conservative economic pundits and activists like few other issues. It's big government picking winners and losers. They and the country will pay the price.

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