Congressional Republicans Unlikely To Act To Counter Trump On Tariffs

WASHINGTON DC- DECEMBER 20 U.S. President Donald Trump greets Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan during an event to celebrate Congress passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with Republican members of the House and Senate on the South Lawn of the Wh

Republican lawmakers opposing President Donald Trump's imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs said the White House may face lawsuits to block the duties, even as legal experts cast doubt that the cases would succeed.

"I disagree with this action and fear its unintended consequences", Ryan said.

In a statement, the senator from MA explained that she believed the tariffs "take the right approach" but should focus on "countries like China that cheat constantly on foreign trade", rather than hitting all United States trade partners.

Congress has the power to challenge President Trump on new tariffs, but it's unlikely lawmakers will act, even though almost all congressional Republicans oppose the president's trade policy because they believe it will harm the US economy.

Trump's tariffs have not yet taken effect, and congressional Republicans are hoping to persuade the president to limit their scope or effect. The president is seeking to extract more concessions from both country as it renegotiates aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Flake said he would "immediately draft and introduce legislation to nullify these tariffs", which he called "ill-advised".


His comments in a Cabinet meeting Thursday come hours before a 3:30 p.m. meeting to formalize the tariffs amid uncertainty in the West Wing over which countries will be exempted from the protectionist measure. At a cabinet meeting, Trump argued that these tariffs will protect American workers. At least he'll have on his side fellow Arizona Republican Sen.

And Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said that the president's "bad ideas" will kill steel jobs.

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

Whatever Washington lawmakers opt to do, they will have to reach a two-thirds majority vote to overcome a presidential veto - forcing Republicans to find support among the Democratic opposition, a challenge in its own right. Harmful trade policies like this will only hurt American consumers and businesses by driving up manufacturing costs and diminishing productivity. 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. And it's a recipe for killing growth.

Turning a bill of that type into law would accomplish three good ends: stopping an economically destructive policy; promoting a healthier balance between the legislative and executive branches; and putting some distance between the Republican Party and Trump. Self-delusion is a powerful toxin, but it's no excuse for having backed and defended an economic illiterate.

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