Top trade Dems hit Trump on tariffs

Top trade Dems hit Trump on tariffs
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Three of the top House Democrats on trade issues slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Anti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough Illinois primary fight MORE on Wednesday over his plans to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum while calling for congressional hearings on the move.

“We believe that these tariffs could drive up steel and aluminum prices for U.S. consumers and manufacturers, creating far reaching U.S. supply chain ramifications and potentially driving companies to move manufacturing operations and jobs overseas,” Democratic Reps. Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindTop trade Dems hit Trump on tariffs It's time we start using 'The Investing in Opportunity Act' Americans worried about retirement should look to employee ownership MORE (Wis.), Rick LarsenRichard (Rick) Ray LarsenFive things lawmakers want attached to the trillion funding bill Top trade Dems hit Trump on tariffs Dem rep mocks Trump on military parade: His last one 'not very well attended' MORE (Wash.) and Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksDem lawmaker says Trump is trying to be Putin Senate Dem denounces Farrakhan's remarks Women's March leader defends attending event where speaker made anti-semitic remarks MORE (N.Y.) wrote in a letter to relevant congressional committees.

“There are certainly serious concerns with Chinese overcapacity in steel and aluminum production that America and its allies need to address, but the administration is taking the wrong approach with these broadly applicable tariffs that are already causing chaos and confusion for our nation’s economy, national security, and trade relations with our allies," they added.

The letter — addressed to the GOP chairmen of the House Ways and Means, Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees — was sent on behalf of the New Democrat Coalition Trade Task Force, part of a group of 60 moderate Democrats.

Labor leaders, an important Democratic constituency, were quick to praise Trump's tariffs first announced last week, and some congressional Democrats have also indicated their support. Still, some Democrats, such as Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerConscience protections for health-care providers should be standard Pension committee must deliver on retirement promise Dem super PAC launches ad defending Donnelly on taxes MORE (N.Y.), have said that a more targeted approach is needed.

Republicans have largely raised alarm over the tariffs, saying they would set back the U.S. economy in an election year. Trump has said he'll push to put forward a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum, though the White House has not yet released his formal proposal.

The Democratic letter released Wednesday did not go so far as to call for Congress to take oversight power on tariffs, such as carving out a congressional veto on certain kinds of tariffs. Some Democrats say that would be the right way to go.

"I think it's an appropriate role for Congress," said Rep. Brian HigginsBrian HigginsRepublicans open to targeted China tariffs despite steel flap Top trade Dems hit Trump on tariffs GOP praises, Dems question tax-cut boost in paychecks MORE (D-N.Y.), member of the House Ways and Means Committee that oversees trade.

"I think that all of our constituents are affected differently by trade, so there should be a voice in that process to ensure that those people are represented," he added.

Rep. Kenny MarchantKenny Ewell MarchantTop trade Dems hit Trump on tariffs Lobbying World Live coverage: Day four of the Ways and Means GOP tax bill markup MORE (R-Texas), another Ways and Means member, said that the executive branch has the authority to impose tariffs and that Congress should not overstep.

"I would give him a chance to work on it a little while," he said of Trump's decision, though he added that his constituents were unhappy about the proposed tariffs.