Business leaders continued to sound the alarm about the tariffs, with the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce raising the specter of a global trade war.
"You have 140 thousand steel production workers". The prices of a host of products made from steel and aluminum are expected to rise, and several countries have already threatened to impose their own tariffs on USA goods in retaliation. "I just want fairness".
Flake's move came amid a loud chorus of criticism from Republicans, traditionally a free-trade party, for Trump's action. Others have said Congress needs to claw back some of the constitutional authority on trade that they have willingly handed over to the executive branch over the years. But he held off a decision on Canada and Mexico saying that negotiations are ongoing on NAFTA.
As Trump vows to sign new bilateral treaties and amend the North American Free Trade Agreement, congressional leaders could seize the moment to reaffirm their role in United States trade policy. "We will continue to urge the administration to narrow this policy so that it is focused only on those countries and practices that violate trade law". He said this was not just a disaster for the economy but also national security.
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Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Trump's action would hurt American businesses and families. President Trump spoke at length about how the USA industry had been taken advantage of over the years. Some of them will be mildly helped by the president's tariffs. That scenario, Tom Donohue said, would endanger the economic momentum from the GOP tax cuts and Trump's rollback of regulations. "I will immediately draft and introduce legislation to nullify these tariffs, and I urge my colleagues to pass it before this exercise in protectionism inflicts any more damage on the economy".
People briefed on the plans ahead of the announcement said all countries affected by the tariffs would be invited to negotiate with the administration to be exempted from the tariffs if they can address the threat their exports pose to USA manufacturers.
In the Senate, Republicans are opposing the duties en masse, with Senator Jeff Flake already preparing a bill to "nullify these tariffs".
During a June 2016 Pittsburgh campaign speech, Trump called out China specifically over "theft of American trade secrets" and vowed to remedy trade disputes with tariffs.