Sasse: ‘Tariffs always hurt us’

Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseThe Hill's 12:30 Report Overnight Defense: Trump unveils new sanctions against Russia | Key Republicans back VA chief amid controversy | Trump gives boost to military 'space force' McCain, Sasse call for coordinated NATO response to poisoning of ex-Russian spy MORE (R-Neb.) early Thursday attacked President TrumpDonald John TrumpLieu: There will be 'widespread civil unrest' if Trump fires Mueller Attorneys for Trump, Mueller hold face-to-face meeting to discuss potential interview topics: report Trump tariffs not helpful for nuclear talks, South Korea says MORE's plan for tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, warning that they would kill American jobs.

Sasse during an interview on "CBS This Morning" disputed Trump's claim that it is "easy" to win trade wars, saying that "nobody" would win such an international conflict.


"Tariffs always hurt us. Ultimately, nobody ever wins a trade war. Both sides lose a trade war," Sasse, a frequent critic of the president, said. "Trade is indisputably good for America, it's good for consumers on both sides of every trading relationship, all of our trade deals have been on-net-good for America in terms of job creation, and a lot of the public doesn't understand that."

"Let's look at steel in particular," he continued. "When you raise tariffs on steel, 321 million American consumers lose. Because everyone who went to the store last night, buying something for their kids or for their household that they need, there were metal products in it. And when you have tariffs, you raise prices on steel and all 321 million Americans lose."

Sasse went on to predict that manufacturing plants that rely on steel or aluminum imports would face economic hardships under the Trump plan.

"If you just look at steel, this plan will kill steel jobs in America," he said.

Trump's plan to raise tariffs by 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports shocked many in Washington and around the world, with the president facing criticism from a wide range of critics including Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanSpending deal talks down to toughest issues, lawmakers say Schiff: I thought more Republicans would speak out against Trump Dem leaders pull back from hard-line immigration demand MORE (R-Wis.) and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Trump has defended his planned tariffs, however, calling them crucial to protecting America's steel industry.

“We are on the losing side of almost all trade deals,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “Our friends and enemies have taken advantage of the U.S. for many years. Our Steel and Aluminum industries are dead. Sorry, it’s time for a change! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”