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GOP senators blast Trump's tariffs announcement

Republican senators are not too happy with the White House right now.After President Donald Trump said Thursda...

Posted: Mar 1, 2018 11:45 PM
Updated: Mar 1, 2018 11:46 PM

Republican senators are not too happy with the White House right now.

After President Donald Trump said Thursday his administration will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports next week, GOP senators spoke out about their fear of retaliation from other countries and the lack of communication from the White House.

Sen. Ben Sasse, who's been a frequent critic Trump, slammed the tariffs decision as something Americans would expect from a "leftist administration," not a Republican commander in chief.

"Let's be clear: The President is proposing a massive tax increase on American families. Protectionism is weak, not strong," he said in a statement. "You'd expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one."

Sen. Pat Roberts, who is the chair of the Senate agriculture committee, also blasted the decision for the tariffs and warned of retaliation.

"They've already done this on washing machines and solar panels and the sorghum producer, one of the rare crops where we were making a profit, got targeted by China," he said. "Every time you do this, you get a retaliation. And agriculture is the number one target. I think this is terribly counterproductive for the (agriculture) economy and I'm not very happy."

When asked why Trump made the decision Roberts and other senators made the case to him, Roberts responded: "Good question."

Even members of Senate leadership who are working with the White House on other measures expressed their concerns about Trump's plans for trade.

"My reaction is I'm going to study exactly what the President did," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, who is the second ranking Republican in the chamber, told reporters. "But (I'm) obviously concerned about retaliation and unintended consequences."

Trump said the US will impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tariff on aluminum, capping a fierce, months-long internal debate that divided some of the President's top advisers. Anticipating the move, experts have said it is likely to invite retaliatory measures from foreign countries.

Cornyn added he understood where Trump was coming from with the decision because of criticism of the US' trade policies.

"I'm also sympathetic to what he's been saying because we've been getting heat when it comes to our international trade relationships," he added. "So we need to scrutinize and see if they're in America's best interests and I certainly support that but I need to look at the specifics."

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said his colleagues are figuring out what they can do about the tariffs.

"I am highly concerned about the negative aspects. I completely want fair and reciprocal trade and there's no doubt about it America's has been magnanimous in its trade laws," he said. "There have been abuses building up over the years. We should target those abuses. I'm just not sure this is the way to do it overall with the steel and aluminum. It really will have negative and unintended consequences."

Sen. Orrin Hatch told reporters he didn't believe in tariffs and warned it could create more conflict for the US.

"First of all, I don't believe in tariffs," he said. "They don't work very well. Secondly, it creates tariff wars and I just don't think that's the way to go."

It wasn't immediately clear what sparked Trump's sudden desire to make the policy announcement within 24 hours, but his directive for a next-day announcement came as the White House was engulfed in its latest string of negative headlines.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 592750

Reported Deaths: 7376
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1226641731
Ramsey51369875
Dakota45906452
Anoka41713438
Washington26899283
Stearns22238222
St. Louis17758304
Scott17275124
Wright16034140
Olmsted1324298
Sherburne1170887
Carver1049145
Clay815792
Rice8056107
Blue Earth750441
Crow Wing665089
Kandiyohi655783
Chisago599751
Otter Tail574978
Benton570297
Goodhue478072
Douglas467875
Mower465732
Winona454550
Itasca437556
McLeod423659
Isanti421364
Morrison419260
Nobles407748
Beltrami395559
Steele388315
Polk384168
Becker380253
Lyon360651
Carlton345254
Freeborn341729
Pine328622
Nicollet326143
Brown305440
Mille Lacs304553
Le Sueur291723
Todd282132
Cass272828
Meeker256340
Waseca236222
Martin230632
Roseau209019
Wabasha20533
Hubbard189341
Dodge18493
Renville180243
Redwood174337
Houston171816
Cottonwood164923
Fillmore156310
Wadena155922
Pennington153619
Faribault152319
Chippewa152238
Kanabec144626
Sibley143510
Aitkin134936
Watonwan13279
Rock128219
Jackson121812
Pipestone115426
Yellow Medicine114120
Pope11026
Murray10639
Swift105218
Stevens91311
Marshall88117
Clearwater86816
Koochiching83315
Wilkin81512
Lake81119
Lac qui Parle75322
Big Stone6004
Lincoln5813
Grant5768
Mahnomen5499
Norman5399
Unassigned50093
Kittson48622
Red Lake3967
Traverse3705
Lake of the Woods3253
Cook1640

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 367061

Reported Deaths: 5938
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57642625
Linn20869335
Scott20044241
Black Hawk15813308
Woodbury15132228
Johnson1448383
Dubuque13374208
Dallas1118298
Pottawattamie11122168
Story1061748
Warren577988
Clinton555693
Cerro Gordo540389
Sioux514474
Webster512293
Marshall483075
Muscatine481199
Des Moines457166
Wapello4301122
Buena Vista424840
Jasper419272
Plymouth401280
Lee375855
Marion362575
Jones298957
Henry291837
Carroll285952
Bremer284560
Crawford266140
Boone264834
Benton256655
Washington253750
Dickinson248443
Mahaska230351
Jackson222142
Clay215625
Kossuth215364
Tama209771
Delaware209641
Winneshiek196934
Page192722
Buchanan191332
Cedar190023
Hardin185643
Fayette185141
Wright184637
Hamilton179949
Harrison179673
Clayton169556
Butler164934
Madison162319
Mills162222
Floyd160942
Cherokee158938
Lyon158041
Poweshiek154734
Allamakee151451
Iowa148824
Hancock148234
Winnebago142431
Calhoun138513
Cass138554
Grundy136333
Emmet134340
Jefferson132435
Shelby131037
Sac130319
Union128333
Louisa128149
Appanoose127949
Mitchell126342
Chickasaw124116
Guthrie121530
Franklin120521
Humboldt119126
Palo Alto112823
Howard104622
Montgomery103338
Clarke100124
Unassigned9740
Keokuk95931
Monroe95129
Ida90335
Adair86532
Pocahontas85522
Davis83024
Monona82730
Osceola78716
Greene77710
Lucas77223
Worth7478
Taylor66012
Fremont6229
Decatur6089
Ringgold55824
Van Buren55818
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Adams3384
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