GOP Lawmakers Voice Little Support For Trump's Tariffs

Congress has the power to challenge President Trump on new tariffs, but it's unlikely lawmakers will act even though almost all congressional Republicans oppose the president's trade policy because they believe it will harm the USA economy. Ryan told Home Depot Inc. employees how they and their company will be helped by the tax cuts passed past year. The people spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the president's signing of the orders.

Trump, who announced his decision surrounded by steelworkers, said he was fulfilling a campaign promise.

There will nearly certainly be broad legal challenges of the Trump administration claim that protecting USA steel and aluminum producers is necessary for national security, John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican senator, said Friday.

"I disagree with this action and fear its unintended consequences", Ryan said. The president said USA political leaders preceding him had allowed the decline of manufacturing in the nation, and cited a protectionist predecessor, President William McKinley, in defense of the tariffs.

Trump says a 25 percent tariff will be added to steel and a 10 percent tariff will apply to aluminum.

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Trump said he was "defending America's national security" by imposing the tariffs. But those exemptions weren't enough to placate congressional Republicans who have traditionally opposed protectionist action on trade. "Our factories were left to rot and to rust all over the place", Trump said. "Thriving communities turned into ghost towns", Trump said in front of a group of workers before signing the tariff proclamations. Janesville Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has made it clear that he is not in support of the President's move. He has urged Republican lawmakers to stay focused on reminding voters about the tax cuts rather than White House policy surprises and scandals. The party's odds of gaining a majority in the Senate, where the GOP holds a one-vote majority, are steeper because Democrats hold most of the seats up for election this year.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have spoken out against the tariffs.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., introduced legislation that would nullify the tariffs. Both said they are continuing to lobby the president to change course.

They also could challenge the law itself, claiming Congress delegated to the president too much of its constitutional authority to regulate foreign trade when it passed Section 232, Bhala said, or try to identify defects in the process that Trump and his Commerce Department used in bringing the tariffs forward.

Trump said the levies will take effect in about 15 days, adding that Canada and Mexico could be exempted based on the outcome of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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