GOP senators blast Trump's tariffs announcement

Republican senators are not too happy with the White House right now.After President Donald Trump said Thursda...

Posted: Mar 1, 2018 11:45 PM
Updated: Mar 1, 2018 11:46 PM

Republican senators are not too happy with the White House right now.

After President Donald Trump said Thursday his administration will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports next week, GOP senators spoke out about their fear of retaliation from other countries and the lack of communication from the White House.

Sen. Ben Sasse, who's been a frequent critic Trump, slammed the tariffs decision as something Americans would expect from a "leftist administration," not a Republican commander in chief.

"Let's be clear: The President is proposing a massive tax increase on American families. Protectionism is weak, not strong," he said in a statement. "You'd expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one."

Sen. Pat Roberts, who is the chair of the Senate agriculture committee, also blasted the decision for the tariffs and warned of retaliation.

"They've already done this on washing machines and solar panels and the sorghum producer, one of the rare crops where we were making a profit, got targeted by China," he said. "Every time you do this, you get a retaliation. And agriculture is the number one target. I think this is terribly counterproductive for the (agriculture) economy and I'm not very happy."

When asked why Trump made the decision Roberts and other senators made the case to him, Roberts responded: "Good question."

Even members of Senate leadership who are working with the White House on other measures expressed their concerns about Trump's plans for trade.

"My reaction is I'm going to study exactly what the President did," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, who is the second ranking Republican in the chamber, told reporters. "But (I'm) obviously concerned about retaliation and unintended consequences."

Trump said the US will impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tariff on aluminum, capping a fierce, months-long internal debate that divided some of the President's top advisers. Anticipating the move, experts have said it is likely to invite retaliatory measures from foreign countries.

Cornyn added he understood where Trump was coming from with the decision because of criticism of the US' trade policies.

"I'm also sympathetic to what he's been saying because we've been getting heat when it comes to our international trade relationships," he added. "So we need to scrutinize and see if they're in America's best interests and I certainly support that but I need to look at the specifics."

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said his colleagues are figuring out what they can do about the tariffs.

"I am highly concerned about the negative aspects. I completely want fair and reciprocal trade and there's no doubt about it America's has been magnanimous in its trade laws," he said. "There have been abuses building up over the years. We should target those abuses. I'm just not sure this is the way to do it overall with the steel and aluminum. It really will have negative and unintended consequences."

Sen. Orrin Hatch told reporters he didn't believe in tariffs and warned it could create more conflict for the US.

"First of all, I don't believe in tariffs," he said. "They don't work very well. Secondly, it creates tariff wars and I just don't think that's the way to go."

It wasn't immediately clear what sparked Trump's sudden desire to make the policy announcement within 24 hours, but his directive for a next-day announcement came as the White House was engulfed in its latest string of negative headlines.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 537813

Reported Deaths: 11024
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson791691529
Mobile41177808
Madison35002507
Tuscaloosa25871454
Shelby25076249
Montgomery24549591
Baldwin21290309
Lee15946171
Calhoun14556319
Morgan14364280
Etowah13890353
Marshall12262223
Houston10602282
Elmore10115206
Limestone10031151
St. Clair9890245
Cullman9730194
Lauderdale9449243
DeKalb8853188
Talladega8325176
Walker7259277
Autauga6971108
Jackson6830112
Blount6750139
Colbert6317134
Coffee5546119
Dale4869113
Russell444338
Chilton4343113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4040152
Escambia394577
Chambers3581123
Dallas3564153
Clarke351361
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302298
Winston275673
Bibb263064
Geneva252577
Marengo249664
Pickens234862
Barbour231956
Hale223677
Butler217869
Fayette212462
Henry189644
Cherokee184345
Randolph182042
Monroe178140
Washington167639
Macon160750
Clay156957
Crenshaw153357
Cleburne149241
Lamar143035
Lowndes139653
Wilcox127430
Bullock123041
Conecuh110629
Coosa108928
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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