Romney rips Trump tariffs: ‘Trade wars are a tax on Americans’
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Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Romney: Trump's remarks at Putin summit 'disgraceful and detrimental to democratic principles' Utah's largest paper compares child separation to war crimes in scathing editorial MORE spoke out against "trade wars" on Friday after President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports, prompting Beijing to respond with its own tariffs on U.S. goods.

“Trade wars are a tax on Americans. They have severe consequences for many employers and inevitably cost Americans jobs,” the Utah GOP Senate hopeful said in a statement.

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Romney said trade wars are particularly punishing for agriculture, which is a sector in Utah the former GOP presidential contender said is “already under duress from wildfire, drought, and challenging public land policies.”

“Our national objective should be to open new markets, negotiate free and fair trade agreements, and to employ American innovation and productivity to out-compete the world,” Romney said.

Romney has at times offered praise and criticism for the president dating back to his 2012 presidential bid.

The former Massachusetts governor has softened his criticism toward Trump in recent months, offering his thanks after the president endorsed him in the Utah Senate race.

The Trump administration on Friday slapped 25 percent tariffs on as much as $34 billion in goods imported from China.

Chinese officials accused Trump of “the biggest trade war in economic history” with the move and soon announced that retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods would immediately go into effect.