Manchin echoes White House in blaming China for new Trump tariffs

Manchin echoes White House in blaming China for new Trump tariffs
© Greg Nash

Democratic Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinCoal miners' union to endorse Manchin Washington VIPs gather to celebrate Mark Penn's new book Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps MORE (W.Va.) on Sunday blamed China for President TrumpDonald John TrumpPoll: Both parties need to do more on drug prices Senate approves .3 trillion spending bill, sending to Trump White House: Trump will delay steel tariffs for EU, six countries MORE’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

During an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union,” Manchin argued that while China may not be high on the list of steel exporters to the U.S., much of the steel imported into the United States comes from the Asian nation.

“When you look at who produces the steel in the world, 50 percent of the steel produced in the world comes from China. The United States is the largest importer of the steel,” Manchin said.

“Connect the dots. Even though they’re saying it might not come directly from China, it comes ... through other countries.”

China is low on the list of steel exporters to the United States compared to countries like Canada and Brazil, according to CNN.

Trump, who often railed against China's trade practices on the campaign trail, last week announced a plan to impose a tariff of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum. His administration has focused on Beijing for influencing the president's decision to impose tariffs. 

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday argued that China has "tremendous overcapacity" and floods the world market, causing a trickle-down effect.

Manchin, a red-state Democrat who is up for reelection in a state Trump won by more than 40 points, also said he doesn’t “buy” the theory that prices are going to spike due to the tariffs.

Manchin expressed an open mind over Trump’s plan for trade. 

“So the president has put this on the table. I welcome it. Let’s look at it and see what they roll out,” he said.

-Updated 10:18 a.m.