US House Speaker Ryan denounces Trump metals tariffs


At nearly the same time, the president was announcing steel and aluminum tariffs that Ryan and others in the GOP say will slow growth and raise prices for consumers.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that he plans to introduce legislation to nullify President Donald Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

"I disagree with this action and fear its unintended consequences", House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

Noting that the United States should focus on China's metals sales that are "trans-shipped" through other countries at unfair prices, Ryan said: "I really think the best policy is to be surgical and specific". He excluded Mexico and Canada from the tariffs, following pressure from fellow Republicans to get him to reconsider, but still pressed ahead with the tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

Members of the US Congress's Republican majority are dismayed over Donald Trump's contention new trade tariffs. But those exemptions weren't enough to placate congressional Republicans who have traditionally opposed protectionist action on trade. The president said US 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.

All 435 seats in the House will be on ballots.

There are a handful of Democrats who are on board with Trump's move, though. Sen.

Historically proponents of free trade, several Republicans dubbed the measures "stupid" and "misguided" - if the United States increases the cost of both materials, they hold, American producers of vehicles and other products will suffer setbacks on the global playing field, and consumers will pay more.

Flake said he would immediately draft and introduce legislation to nullify the tariffs, "and I urge my colleagues to pass it before this exercise in protectionism inflicts any more damage on the economy".

"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.

Canada and Mexico will initially be exempt from the tariffs, but both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the scope of the tariffs is still too broad.