Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Republican senator introduces bill to quash Trump's tariffs

Republican senator introduces bill to quash Trump's tariffs

The top Republican in the US Congress, Paul Ryan, publicly denounced President Donald Trump's imposition Thursday of steep tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium.

To block the tariffs, even temporarily, opponents would have to convince a judge that they're likely to win and that they'd suffer irreparable harm if the tariffs go into effect.

Just a few months after he helped drive Trump's landmark tax reform through Congress, Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, expressed astonishment at the president's decision.

European Union leader Jean-Claude Juncker also warned President Trump against imposing the tariffs, saying that EU nations would retaliate by placing similar tariffs on US imported products like Kentucky bourbon and blue jeans. "But that's not to say it will stay that way", Flake said.

His colleague Mike Lee, of the ultra-conservative Tea Party, immediately claimed congressional powers as defined in the Constitution's first article - which says the power to tax belongs to the legislature - promising "to make sure these tax hikes are never enforced".

In fact, Flake has already announced he'd be appearing at next week's New Hampshire Institute of Politics event, "Politics & Eggs".

"He's running for reelection already", Todd stated. He also has said he thought Trump should be challenged, but the twist Sunday was that he agreed with Todd's question that such a challenger should be somebody "who espouses your (Flake's) views".

Flake, whom many speculate has his own presidential ambitions, did not indicate whether he meant to be that challenger. I am pleased that the president has listened to those who share my concerns and included an exemption for some American allies, but it should go further. That's a rare occurrence for a GOP whose obsequiousness to Trump has become a hallmark.

These Republicans and business groups understand that Trump is putting at risk an economy that had been humming along. This year, he has given Senate floor speeches denouncing the president's attacks on the media and antagonism toward Democrats.

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

"We are extremely anxious about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan", House Speaker Paul D. Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said last week.

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