Flake files bill to stop the Trump tariffs

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Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., says President Donald Trump should face a Republican primary challenge in his 2020 re-election bid.

"These tariffs will do just what tariffs have always done and lead to job losses and will stymie economic growth", Flake said on the Senate floor, adding: "We in Congress simply can't be complicit as this administration courts economic disaster in this fashion".

Host Chuck Todd then asked Flake whether a Republican should challenge Trump, assuming he seeks the presidential nomination again. It would be a tough go in a Republican primary.

Republicans worked for days both behind the scenes and with public pleas to try to get Trump to back down, or significantly curtail, his threat of tariffs.

Flake, whom many speculate has his own presidential ambitions, did not indicate whether he meant to be that challenger.

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Even if there is an initial victory from a friendly court to stay Trump's tariffs, a case would face hard appeals, according to Mark Warner, a Toronto-based trade lawyer with MAAW Law who practices in the US and Canada.

But on Friday, he will be in Manchester, N.H., to deliver remarks on "Country Over Party" at a "Politics and Eggs" event.

Countries could challenge Trump's action in the World Trade Organization, putting this global forum in the uncomfortable position of determining what is in the "essential security interests" of the USA, in accordance with an existing agreement on tariffs and trade.

But Flake maintained that tariffs will make things worse, not better, for Americans and the U.S. economy, reports CNBC News. Trump ultimately backed down slightly from what were initially described as broad-reaching, indiscriminate tariffs, exempting Canada and Mexico as well as creating a pathway to exemption for other nations. "And I don't blame my colleagues for just saying, 'Hey, you know, I'm just not going to comment anymore.' But I think it's our responsibility, at least at some point, when he goes so far, to stand up and say, 'This is not normal".

While no big name has officially stepped forward yet to say such a run is definitely in the works, one Republican senator thinks a member of the GOP should toss his or her proverbial hat in the ring in the 2020 primary. "We should not normalize this behavior'".

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