Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday accused President Trump of “emboldening” Vladimir Putin the day after Trump’s widely panned press conference with his Russian counterpart.
Corker pressed his calls for Congress to pass legislation that ties Trump’s hands when it comes to imposing tariffs, as the president’s protectionist trade policies have been a cause of increasing concern among Republicans and business leaders.
“I would say the first step we should take is to pass this tariff legislation when you look at what is happening the president is abusing his authority, his trade authority, under Section 232, and he’s taxing Americans,” Corker told reporters.
“He’s also alienating our allies in Europe. I mean, we put tariffs on them under our national security guise, and so in many ways again, he’s emboldening Putin and helping him because were hurting our allies in that regard to hurting relationships,” he continued.
Corker’s comments come after Trump returned from his trip abroad in which he met with NATO member leaders in Brussels before traveling to the U.K. and eventually Helsinki, Finland, to meet with Putin.
Trump in March slapped steel imports with a 25 percent tariff and imposed a 10 percent tariff on aluminum, in addition to mounting tariffs on China.
China has responded with reciprocal tariffs of its own, and multiple trading allies have filed complaints against Trump’s tariffs in the World Trade Organization.
— Molly Hooper and Julia Manchester
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