Paul Ryan breaks with Trump on tariffs
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan came out in opposition to President Trump's decision to move ahead with tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, saying the move "targets America's allies when we should be working with them to address the unfair trading practices of China."
The Trump administration announced Thursday it will be moving ahead with the tariffs on ally nations, despite those nations' urging that he not do so, and fears of retaliatory tariffs.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday the U.S. will impose the 25 percent tariffs on steel imports, and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports, when a previous exemption expires at midnight. Mr. Trump originally proposed the tariffs in March, but deferred them as negotiations continued.
Ryan, joining some fellow Republicans like Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, said in a statement Thursday afternoon that he disagrees with the administration's decision.
"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. "There are better ways to help American workers and consumers. I intend to keep working with the president on those better options."
The E.U. issued this statement over the president's decision. "The EU believes these unilateral US tariffs are unjustified and at odds with World Trade Organization rules. This is protectionism, pure and simple," European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said.
Mr. Trump, however, doesn't appear to be backing down. "FAIR TRADE!" he tweeted in call caps Thursday afternoon.
While the White House had said a trade war with China was "on hold," it appears to be moving forward with a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion in Chinese imports.
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