Corker disavows Trump’s trade tariffs: ‘An abuse of authority’

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerMcConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial RNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight MORE (R-Tenn.) on Thursday blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE for moving to slap stiff tariffs on Mexico, Canada and the European Union, calling it “an abuse of authority intended only for national security purposes."

Corker, calling the tariffs the “wrong approach on trade,” said Trump should work with the United States' “most important trading partners” instead of taking action against them, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

“If we truly want to level the playing field for American companies, we should be working with our friends and allies to target those actually responsible for tipping markets in their favor,” said Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.


Corker, who is retiring after this year, has publicly feuded with Trump in the past and was booed after Trump mentioned his name during a rally in Nashville, Tenn., earlier this week.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis Ross2020 census to run ads on 'Premio lo Nuestro' Can the US slap tariffs on auto imports? Not anymore On The Money: Slowing economy complicates 2020 message for Trump | Tech confronts growing impact of coronavirus | Manufacturing rises after five-month contraction MORE announced earlier Thursday that Trump had decided to follow through on his threat to impose hefty tariffs on the EU, Mexico and Canada, ending the temporary exemptions for the allies after global leaders attempted to avoid the measures.

Several top Republicans have spoken out against the tariffs. Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTimeline: Trump and Romney's rocky relationship Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock Trump awards Medal of Freedom to racing industry icon Roger Penske MORE (R-Utah) called them a "tax hike on Americans” and Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight 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 MORE (R-Pa.) said they would "invite retaliation."

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the EU had “no choice” but to retaliate against the tariffs.

And Mexico said it would imposes tariffs on a number of U.S. imports, including flat steel, apples and grapes.

Trump announced tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports in March, citing national security concerns. He later gave temporary exemptions from the measures for key trading partners.