House Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican leadership are holding their weekly press conference on Tuesday amid in-party debate over President Trump’s latest steel and aluminum tariff policy.
Ryan notes through his spokeswoman that the new tax overhaul “has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains”.
The European Commission has drawn up a list of retaliatory tariffs that would target about $3.5 billion worth of American goods, according to Bloomberg News.
The White House says Tuesday that the leaders spoke on Monday, and that Trump emphasized his commitment to a North American Free Trade Agreement that is fair to all three countries.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, says history has demonstrated repeatedly that consumers ultimately bear the burden of tariffs.
Addressing WTO members today, he argued: “We can not ignore this risk and I urge all parties to consider and reflect on this situation very carefully”. Trump’s announcement that he will impose stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum has upended political alliances on Capitol Hill.
“I don’t see winners in trade wars”, said House Republican Jeb Hensarling in a tv interview. As such, China’s stainless steel, cold-rolled steel exports to the United States are already subject to over 200 percent punitive duties.
Ryan, who Monday warned of a possible trade war if Trump carried out his threat, was just one of several Republicans publicly suggesting the president instead target tariffs specifically on “abusers” of USA trade policies, especially China, which has been accused of dumping steel and aluminum exports or selling them at an unfairly low price in foreign markets.
According to a news release from the Prime Minister’s Office, “The prime minister also registered his serious concern about the US administration’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum”.
Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for Trade, told the BBC that Levi jeans, bourbon whiskey and Harley Davidson motorbikes were on a draft list of U.S. goods to be hit with a 25% import tax.
World leaders condemned the announcement, and the European Union proposed tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles and other US products. Some American producers, including those that make bourbon, blue jeans and Harley Davidson motorcycles, worry that a trade war with Europe and other nations will harm their exports. The president appeared unbowed on Sunday, as he tweeted that American “Steel and Aluminum industries are dead”.
Most responses to Mr Trump’s proposed tariffs have been targeted.
“The idea of imposing steel or aluminum tariffs of any kind is an affront to economic freedom”, stated Club for Growth President David McIntosh said in a statement.
Exports – which totaled $172 billion in 2017, 11 percent of the USA total – are a big part of our economy.
That is just the kind of tit-for-tat reaction that economist warn could spark a trade war at a time when the USA and global economies have only recently returned to firmer footing.
“No, we’re not backing down”, Trump said. However, White House officials have made clear that country-specific exemptions were unlikely.