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

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchLobbying world Congress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage Drug prices are declining amid inflation fears 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 RossBannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ House panel, Commerce Department reach agreement on census documents China sanctions Wilbur Ross, others after US warns of doing business in Hong Kong MORE announced earlier Thursday that President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story 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 ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote 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.