Hatch: Trump steel and aluminum tariffs are a 'tax hike on Americans'
© Greg Nash

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchRomney defends Trump’s policies as ‘effective,' disputes he led 'never Trump' movement GOP fractured over filling Supreme Court vacancies in 2020 George W. Bush, Mitt Romney to visit Arizona to boost Martha McSally MORE (R-Utah) on Thursday blasted the Trump administration's decision to place steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico, saying the financial penalties are a "tax hike on Americans." 

"My position remains unchanged: Tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are a tax hike on Americans and will have damaging consequences for consumers, manufacturers and workers," Hatch said in a statement
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Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossHarris accuses GOP of ‘weaponizing’ 2020 Census DOJ: Commerce chief spoke with Bannon, Sessions about census citizenship question Oversight Dems call for probe into citizenship question on 2020 census MORE announced earlier Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE has decided to slap hefty tariffs on the EU, Mexico and Canada, ending the temporary exemptions for the key trading allies despite their two months of lobbying to avoid the tariffs.

Hatch added that he would urge the administration to reverse its decision but did not specify what steps he would take to try to pressure them to do so.

"In light of the mounting evidence that these tariffs will harm Americans, I will continue to push the administration to change course," Hatch added.

Republicans, including Hatch, have publicly fretted for months over Trump's trade policies, including concerns that broad steel and aluminum tariffs would spark retaliation from other countries. Some GOP senators have floated new legislation that would give Congress more oversight of the president's trade decisions.

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyOvernight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race MORE (R-Pa.) separately called the tariff decision "bad news" that would "invite retaliation."

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that Trump's move leaves the EU with "no choice but to proceed with a [World Trade Organization] dispute settlement case and the imposition of additional duties on a number of US imports."

Mexico also responded to the tariffs, saying it would impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports like pork bellies, apples, grapes and flat steel, among other things.

Trump first announced tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum for national security reasons in March, later granting temporary exemptions for key allies.