Paul Ryan, Republicans send major warnings to Trump about his massive new tariffs
- Republicans and conservative groups have come out strong against President Donald Trump's proposed new tariffs.
- GOP Sen. Ben Sasse said the tariffs will "will kill American jobs," while House Speaker Paul Ryan's office sent out an email Monday tying early stock market declines to tariff concerns.
- Club for Growth, a conservative political action group that favor free markets, said the decision is "an affront to economic freedom."
Republicans and conservative groups have begun targeting with scorched-earth potency President Donald Trump's decision to introduce new tariffs, arguing the move will be a disaster for the US economy and American workers in a dramatic split from their own party's leader.
"Kooky 18th century protectionism will jack up prices on American families — and will prompt retaliation from other countries," GOP Sen. Ben Sasse said Friday. "Make no mistake: If the President goes through with this, it will kill American jobs — that's what every trade war ultimately does. So much losing."
Trump announced Thursday that the US will soon impose new tariffs, which act as a tax on imports, of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum. Trump's trade advisers, like Peter Navarro, the director of the White House trade council, have said there will be no exemptions for certain countries.
Trump's move has sparked concerns over a trade war in which countries retaliate with their own trade restrictions against the US. Already the European Union, China, and Canada have said they are considering new reciprocal measures. Trump on Friday embraced that prospect, tweeting that"trade wars are good."
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Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham on Sunday attempted through an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation" to make the president reconsider.
"On trade, you correctly identified the problem of China dumping steel throughout the world destroy the American steel industry," Graham said, addressing Trump directly. "Your solution is let China off the hook. It's only going to hurt American consumers and our allies. Please reconsider your solution."
A spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that the speaker wants Trump to "look at other approaches" to address trade. On Monday, Ryan's office circulated a CNBC article attributing the decline in the stock market early Monday morning to tariff concerns.
Conservative political groups have also taken aim at Trump's decision. Club for Growth, a conservative group that advocates for free markets, said the tariffs are bad for American workers in a broad swath of industries.
"The idea of imposing steel or aluminum tariffs of any kind is an affront to economic freedom," David McIntosh, the group's president, said in a statement. "First and foremost, it's bad for the American worker. For every steel worker job that might be saved because of a tariff, our country will lose even more American jobs in auto plants, construction, and so many other industries."