House Republicans are balking against a plan proposed by the President of their own party to do tariffs against steel and aluminum imports. In fact, a total of one-hundred and seven House Republicans have signed on to say that they wish the President would reverse his stance on this one and actually not do tariffs against other countries. They believe that it is counter-productive against their goals as a political party. They also feel that it is not helpful to the country by and large.
They sent a letter signed by those one-hundred and seven members saying that it is their belief that the negative consequences of the tariffs are in fact so large that they cannot be understated. They believe that the potential harm to the U.S. economy is the last thing that is needed at a time like this, and they want the President to reverse his position on this issue so as to protect American workers.
The letter was quick to point to successes that the party believes the President has had. They applauded his efforts on tax reform for example. They said that tax reform has indeed been a huge success from their point of view, and that he deserves all the credit in the world for that. However, they were only willing to take it so far in applauding him.
Republicans stated that they would prefer the President focus on unfair Chinese economic practices rather than the more broadly brushed idea of using tariffs. That is something that could help to reduce the problems with cheap imports while at the same time not causing the U.S. economy to take a hit.
Instead of going after specific products with tariffs, they would like to see the President impose new taxes on entire industries. They don’t want him to be in the business of picking and choosing winners. Instead, they would like to see sweeping proposals under which the government places taxes on those who are not playing by the rules so to speak. That is a more fair way of doing things they believe.
We know that the President has received this letter, but we do not yet know his reaction to it. It is likely that the White House will put a response of some kind to this news. It is so very uncommon for the President’s own party to rebuke him like this. The White House will surely have to respond.