Republican senator puts forward bill to quash Trump's new tariffs

Erika Holt
March 13, 2018

James also echoed Republican lawmakers, suggesting that the tariffs will have an adverse effect and harm the USA economy and diminish the economic gains made so far during the Trump administration.

Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) hinted Thursday that they will try to limit Trump's decision to levy a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum.

"We in Congress simply can't be complicit as this administration courts economic disaster in this fashion. I understand that it's a challenge on the campaign trail, certainly", Flake said on Monday. "But that's not to say it will stay that way", Flake responded.

A Flake challenge to Trump in the presidential primaries would face long, if not impossible, odds.

"Todd said, "[Trump] is running for re-election already.

The interview ended before Todd had a chance to ask Flake whether he meant to be that 2020 challenger.

"Yes, I do ― I do", Flake said. Last year, he wrote a book rebuking his own Republican Party for embracing Trump-style nationalism and protectionism at the expense of traditional conservative values such as free trade.

Flake closed his speech by calling on those who have "reservations about these tariffs" and those who have "expressed admiration for free trade or supply-side economics" to support his bill.

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"I think there is a good chance that we will nullify them, at least if I had it my way, because I just don't see it personally", Senator Hatch said.

"If we fail to do this and we continue to withdraw from the global marketplace, we're going to be left far behind", Flake said, pointing to the Trans-Pacific Partnership as an example.

We have to have bilateral and multilateral trade deals if we are to catch up.

"The risk is that this becomes normalized and we take as normal what is abnormal", Flake said of Trump's criticisms of the media.

"You can be pro-growth or pro-tariff, but you cannot be both", he said.

"This isn't just bad for farmers and ranchers in Nebraska who need to buy a new tractor, it's also bad for the moms and dads who will lose their manufacturing jobs because fewer people can buy a more expensive product", he said.

Dan Nowicki is The Arizona Republic's national political reporter.

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