House Speaker Paul Ryan has again signaled his discontent with President Donald Trump’s policies, this time rebuking Trump for the tariffs the White House is slapping on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Canada and Mexico.
Trump said Thursday the tariffs would be imposed to protect American jobs.
In March, the Trump administration imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum, but delayed implementing it for Europe, Canada and Mexico while the administration negotiated with those countries.
Ryan later issued a statement expressing his opposition. The Wisconsin Republican had been opposed to the idea of higher tariffs when the Trump administration first implemented them in March.
“I disagree with this decision. Instead of addressing the real problems in the international trade of these products, today’s action targets America’s allies when we should be working with them to address the unfair trading practices of countries like China,” Ryan said, according to CBS News.
“There are better ways to help American workers and consumers. I intend to keep working with the president on those better options,” Ryan added.
However, Americans themselves are closer to Trump than Ryan.
A Morning Consult poll taken in March showed that 70 percent of GOP voters supported the tariffs. Overall, 41 percent — a plurality — were in favor of them, Breitbart reported.
Trump said the tariffs were necessary because past trade deals have been unfair to America.
“The United States has been taken advantage of for many decades on trade,” Trump said in a statement, The Washington Post reported. “Those days are over. Earlier today, this message was conveyed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada: The United States will agree to a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all.”
Canada has treated our Agricultural business and Farmers very poorly for a very long period of time. Highly restrictive on Trade! They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers! They report a really high surplus on trade with us. Do Timber & Lumber in U.S.?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2018
Trump’s action drew a response from those targeted.
The European Union vowed to boost tariffs on items such as bourbon from Kentucky, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Mexico said it would target farm products, and Canada vowed to up tariffs on American steel and aluminum.
There will still be discussion over Trump’s action.
Liam Fox, Britain’s international trade secretary, said British Prime Minister Theresa May will use an upcoming G7 summit as a time to try to talk Trump out of the tariffs, The U.K. Guardian reported.
The Trump administration said tariffs are boosting the economy.
The tariffs “have already had major, positive effects on steel and aluminum workers and jobs and will continue to do so long into the future,” the White House said in a statement, according to The New York Times. “At the same time, the Trump administration’s actions underscore its commitment to good-faith negotiations with our allies to enhance our national security while supporting American workers.”
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