GOP senators blast Trump's tariffs announcement

Republican senators are not too happy with the White House right now.After President Donald Trump said Thursda...

Posted: Mar 2, 2018 12:45 AM
Updated: Mar 2, 2018 12:46 AM

Republican senators are not too happy with the White House right now.

After President Donald Trump said Thursday his administration will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports next week, GOP senators spoke out about their fear of retaliation from other countries and the lack of communication from the White House.

Sen. Ben Sasse, who's been a frequent critic Trump, slammed the tariffs decision as something Americans would expect from a "leftist administration," not a Republican commander in chief.

"Let's be clear: The President is proposing a massive tax increase on American families. Protectionism is weak, not strong," he said in a statement. "You'd expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one."

Sen. Pat Roberts, who is the chair of the Senate agriculture committee, also blasted the decision for the tariffs and warned of retaliation.

"They've already done this on washing machines and solar panels and the sorghum producer, one of the rare crops where we were making a profit, got targeted by China," he said. "Every time you do this, you get a retaliation. And agriculture is the number one target. I think this is terribly counterproductive for the (agriculture) economy and I'm not very happy."

When asked why Trump made the decision Roberts and other senators made the case to him, Roberts responded: "Good question."

Even members of Senate leadership who are working with the White House on other measures expressed their concerns about Trump's plans for trade.

"My reaction is I'm going to study exactly what the President did," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, who is the second ranking Republican in the chamber, told reporters. "But (I'm) obviously concerned about retaliation and unintended consequences."

Trump said the US will impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tariff on aluminum, capping a fierce, months-long internal debate that divided some of the President's top advisers. Anticipating the move, experts have said it is likely to invite retaliatory measures from foreign countries.

Cornyn added he understood where Trump was coming from with the decision because of criticism of the US' trade policies.

"I'm also sympathetic to what he's been saying because we've been getting heat when it comes to our international trade relationships," he added. "So we need to scrutinize and see if they're in America's best interests and I certainly support that but I need to look at the specifics."

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said his colleagues are figuring out what they can do about the tariffs.

"I am highly concerned about the negative aspects. I completely want fair and reciprocal trade and there's no doubt about it America's has been magnanimous in its trade laws," he said. "There have been abuses building up over the years. We should target those abuses. I'm just not sure this is the way to do it overall with the steel and aluminum. It really will have negative and unintended consequences."

Sen. Orrin Hatch told reporters he didn't believe in tariffs and warned it could create more conflict for the US.

"First of all, I don't believe in tariffs," he said. "They don't work very well. Secondly, it creates tariff wars and I just don't think that's the way to go."

It wasn't immediately clear what sparked Trump's sudden desire to make the policy announcement within 24 hours, but his directive for a next-day announcement came as the White House was engulfed in its latest string of negative headlines.

West Lafayette
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Kokomo
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 71°
Rensselaer
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Fowler
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 68°
Williamsport
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 69°
Crawfordsville
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 69°
Frankfort
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 71°
Delphi
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
Monticello
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Logansport
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Turning Warmer & More Humid, Then Big Cool-Down
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 76522

Reported Deaths: 3086
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16194731
Lake7742281
Elkhart495586
Allen4040163
St. Joseph361083
Hamilton2887104
Vanderburgh205313
Hendricks1943108
Cass18069
Johnson1794119
Porter136239
Clark130750
Tippecanoe124511
Madison103066
LaPorte93530
Howard92065
Kosciusko87212
Floyd82249
Bartholomew82147
Marshall79423
Monroe76732
Delaware76052
Vigo71411
Dubois71312
Boone69746
Noble69029
Hancock68839
Jackson5975
Warrick58830
Shelby56828
LaGrange56610
Grant53130
Dearborn51628
Morgan48934
Clinton4504
Henry41820
Wayne38810
White37711
Montgomery36021
Lawrence35727
Harrison35224
Decatur34232
Putnam3218
Daviess27920
Miami2772
Scott27310
Jasper2572
Greene25434
Franklin24715
DeKalb2384
Gibson2334
Jennings22812
Steuben2153
Ripley2138
Carroll2003
Fayette1957
Perry18713
Posey1800
Starke1807
Orange17824
Wells1782
Fulton1732
Wabash1715
Jefferson1662
Knox1640
Whitley1566
Tipton14912
Washington1441
Sullivan1411
Spencer1393
Clay1315
Huntington1273
Randolph1274
Newton12110
Adams1172
Owen1051
Jay920
Rush894
Pulaski821
Fountain762
Brown752
Blackford662
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike620
Vermillion590
Parke551
Switzerland530
Martin500
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0208

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events