In a statement, the senator from MA explained that she believed the tariffs "take the right approach" but should focus on "countries like China that cheat constantly on foreign trade", rather than hitting all United States trade partners.
The outgoing Arizona senator, as well as pretty much every other mainstream Republican, is allergic to Trump's new protectionist measures on aluminum and steel imports.
One of the GOP's major donors, Charles Koch, wrote in The Post: "The administration's recent decision to impose major steel and aluminum tariffs - on top of higher tariffs on washing machines and solar panels - will have the same harmful effect". John McCain, expressed concern that Trump's sharp tariffs will actually hurt the USA economy.
Business leaders continued to sound the alarm about the tariffs, with the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce raising the specter of a global trade war.
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Even Senator Tom Cotton, a reliable ally of the president, made the case against the tariffs. At a cabinet meeting, Trump argued that these tariffs will protect American workers.
Flake has not said he's running for president in 2020 but has refused to rule out such a move, even while acknowledging he probably couldn't get renominated for Senate in his home state. Harmful trade policies like this will only hurt American consumers and businesses by driving up manufacturing costs and diminishing productivity. "The Department of Defense assesses that its programs are able to acquire all the steel and aluminum necessary to meet national defense requirements".
The congressmen are honest in their opposition to Trump's tariffs, and they're right.
The Democratic Party, meanwhile, is treating Trump's tariffs like it does most of the president's policy positions - with raw, dripping contempt.
They will inflict some damage on industries that use steel and aluminium, which employ more people and contribute more to the economy than the steel and aluminum industries themselves. It's big government picking winners and losers. While lawmakers technically could try to counter Trump on trade with some kind of legislative response, there is no clarity about what that would look like, and what kind of precedent it would set. They and the country will pay the price.