JUST IN: Paul Ryan Splits With Trump, GOP To Block Trump’s Steel And Aluminum Tariffs

Republicans in the House are maneuvering to block Pres. Donald Trump’s plans to cripple industries that are reliant on steel and aluminum imports. The House Ways and Means Committee and other House Republicans are concerned that imposing harsh tariffs is contrary to their core economic agenda and could potentially negatively affect the 2018 midterm elections. Some have voiced concerns that it will undermine the $1.5 trillion tax cut bill that was passed in December.

via The Washington Post.

“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), said in a statement Monday. “The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains.”

How far will they go to stop Trump? That’s unclear. One anonymous congressional aide suggested that if blocking Trump fails, “other options remain on the table.” What does that even mean? Who knows with these clowns!

The Constitution gives Congress the authority over taxation and tariffs, but Congress has delegated trade negotiation and tariff authority to the president over recent decades. Congressional leaders believe that approach has worked well — until now.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) issued this statement.

“The administration and Congress must work together on trade policies that build off the momentum of the President’s tax cuts, which is why any tariffs should be narrow, targeted, and focused on addressing unfairly traded products, without disrupting the flow of fairly traded products for American businesses and consumers.”

Trump’s digging in, however.

You’d almost think that the White House and Congress are opposing parties instead of the GOP controlling all three branches of government.

Some background, via New Century Times.

On [last] Thurrsday, after a lot of back and forth with his White House advisers, Donald Trump decided to announce that his administration will impose a heavy tariff on foreign-made steel and aluminum starting next week.

The tariffs will be set at 10 percent for aluminum and 25 percent for steel, and there’s no expiration date on the duration of these new economic penalties.

Trump met with aluminum and steel executives in the White House shortly before the announcement. There also seemed to be lots of confusion and debate over Trump’s plan among administration officials, as an anonymous White House source told CBS News that chief of staff John Kelly wasn’t fully briefed by the Commerce Department.  In fact, the possibility of the announcement caught many White House officials off guard as they scrambled for answers. Reports say that the tariffs are a construct of both Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.

Image via Wikimedia By Office of the Speaker (https://twitter.com/SpeakerRyan) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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