Corker disavows Trump’s trade tariffs: ‘An abuse of authority’
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on Thursday blasted President Trump 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 Ross 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 Hatch (R-Utah) called them a “tax hike on Americans” and Sen. Pat Toomey (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.
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