Republicans slammed President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, with Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker saying “I could, yeah” support legislation promised by Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake to nullify the duties.
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“There are numbers of people — not just him, but numbers of people — trying to figure out the way to take back the ability of a president to do this, period,” Corker told reporters in a press gaggle shortly before Trump’s announcement, Politico reports.
“I’d look at it for sure.”
Flake later tweeted he would write a bill to negate President Trump’s declaration of 25 percent tariffs on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, calling them “a marriage of two lethal poisons to economic growth — protectionism and uncertainty.”
President Trump said the duties would take effect in 15 days and would initially exempt Canada and Mexico.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse bashed Trump’s tariffs as “a really stupid policy.
“It’s going to hurt American consumers and it’s going to hurt American workers,” he told reporters. “If the administration goes through with this policy, this policy will kill American jobs, lots of them.
“I’ve wrestled with the president with this on this very topic.”
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said “maybe we’ve delegated too much authority to the presidency.
“I’m not just saying to Trump.”
He added the authority to impose tariffs based out of national security concerns “could be abused by other presidents, past and future — and maybe we’d better take a look at the trade laws.”
Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters of legislation by Utah Sen. Mike Lee that would require Congress to review tariffs as a “stopgap measure.”
“I think we had better be very careful how much power we delegate on trade issues to the president in the future,” he said.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas later ripped the tariffs as a tax on consumers.”
NEWS RELEASE: Roberts Statement on President’s Tariff Announcement;
Says global tariffs on steel and aluminum could have “detrimental consequences” to the U.S. economy; would be an additional tax on consumers https://t.co/CtPYDdodTI pic.twitter.com/CeD09YEn3x
— Pat Roberts (@SenPatRoberts) March 8, 2018