Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Republicans Challenge Trump on Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

Republicans Challenge Trump on Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

Our Washington correspondent Jessica Smith reports.

Regarding the steel and aluminum industry, Trump said the Section 232 investigation and the potential of putting tariffs on steel and aluminum imports "will create jobs".

Brown also thanked the president for answering his and Portman's calls to take action against illegal competition for foreign washing machine manufacturers earlier this year. During the meeting, Trump.

Trade experts say a reciprocal tax would not achieve Trump's top goal of reducing the US trade deficit, nor would it help American consumers and businesses. "They were the giants, and now they're hanging on for their life". By putting tariffs on imports, it effectively raises the price of imports so that domestic steel and aluminum producers aren't being undercut. Most Democrats voiced support for the president's action on metals, and Republicans, with the exception of Senator Rob Portman of OH, urged caution. It's a violation of trade rules.

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Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, said that former President George W. Bush's 2002 steel tariffs raised the price of the metal across industries and caused automakers to leave the country, costing U.S.jobs.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey, who represents Pennsylvania - a state with storied connection to the USA steel industry - told Trump the tariffs could "invite retaliation" and would be hard to justify on national security grounds.

The administration has another two months to decide on possible retaliatory action. He says, "We're talking about. tariffs and/or quotas".

"The word "reciprocal" is a very important word", the president said.

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Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, added: "You would end up with net job losses", noting USA industrial dependence on steel.

"We're going to do a reciprocal tax and you'll hear about that during the week and the coming months", Trump said. The probes were authorized under a 1962 trade law that has not been invoked since 2001. "We're telling the President you've got to enforce the rules in a way that the playing field is level".

A bipartisan group of 19 lawmakers from both chambers of Congress met with Trump at the White House, in a session that was slated to take place behind closed doors before it was abruptly opened up to media members.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat at the meeting, said afterward that Trump "seems to understand the enforcement challenge".

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