Jim Fossel: GOP, Trump split on tariffs


"I'm afraid that some of the nations that will be impacted are already targeting products that are made in Wisconsin", said democratic Rep. Ron Kind, "some of our manufactured products, some of agriculture products and that's something that we can't afford right now".

Current and former White House officials often describe the president as being preoccupied with keeping campaign promises to his loyal supporters, even if those decisions are unpopular with a broader swath of Americans.

President Trump is set to sign a tariff plan at 3:30 p.m., but the GOP is uniting against him. For his part, Trump framed this as keeping his many campaign promises to get tough on global trade, which he has frequently claimed was disadvantageous to the United States. "We have to protect & build our Steel and Aluminum Industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real friends and treat us fairly on both trade and the military".

More than 100 Republican members of the House have signed off on a letter condemning Trump's looming tariffs. The prices of a host of products made from steel and aluminum are expected to rise, and several countries have already threatened to impose their own tariffs on US goods in retaliation. But the issue of tariffs has sparked the Wisconsin Republican's strongest criticism of the president's policies.

But lawmakers fear a trade war could wipe away economic gains and leave them on shaky ground with voters in November.

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The House speaker's condemnation was swiftly echoed by other top Republicans in Congress, who fear the tariffs could spark a trade war and hurt the United States economy.

Speaking to employees of Home Depot in Atlanta, Ryan, a Republican, added: "I'm just not a fan of broad-based, across-the-board tariffs because I think you'll have a lot of unintended consequences".

Prospects in the House for a bill to counter Trump are dim as well. "If it came from anyone other than Donald Trump himself, then it was an illegally large, or perhaps an illegal corporate, political contribution".

Flake called the tariffs "a marriage of two lethal poisons to economic growth - protectionism and uncertainty", and promised to draft legislation to nullify them.