Top trade Dems hit Trump on tariffs

Top trade Dems hit Trump on tariffs
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Three of the top House Democrats on trade issues slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpIllinois governor says state has gotten 10 percent of medical equipments it's requested Biden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll Tesla offers ventilators free of cost to hospitals, Musk says MORE on Wednesday over his plans to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum while calling for congressional hearings on the move.

“We believe that these tariffs could drive up steel and aluminum prices for U.S. consumers and manufacturers, creating far reaching U.S. supply chain ramifications and potentially driving companies to move manufacturing operations and jobs overseas,” Democratic Reps. Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindTreasury watchdog to investigate Trump opportunity zone program How the 31 Democrats in Trump districts voted on impeachment Nearly all Democrats expected to back articles of impeachment MORE (Wis.), Rick LarsenRichard (Rick) Ray LarsenAirlines threatened with fines if they don't provide foreign passenger data to CDC: report Aviation chairmen cite safety, new tech among concerns for the future The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Diplomat's 'powerful' testimony and 'lynching' attract headlines MORE (Wash.) and Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksBiden rolls out over a dozen congressional endorsements after latest primary wins Democrats balk at Trump's payroll tax cut proposal The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Facebook — Washington, Wall Street on edge about coronavirus MORE (N.Y.) wrote in a letter to relevant congressional committees.

“There are certainly serious concerns with Chinese overcapacity in steel and aluminum production that America and its allies need to address, but the administration is taking the wrong approach with these broadly applicable tariffs that are already causing chaos and confusion for our nation’s economy, national security, and trade relations with our allies," they added.

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The letter — addressed to the GOP chairmen of the House Ways and Means, Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees — was sent on behalf of the New Democrat Coalition Trade Task Force, part of a group of 60 moderate Democrats.

Labor leaders, an important Democratic constituency, were quick to praise Trump's tariffs first announced last week, and some congressional Democrats have also indicated their support. Still, some Democrats, such as Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell launches ad touting role in passing coronavirus relief Joe Biden can't lead the charge from his home in Delaware Texas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill MORE (N.Y.), have said that a more targeted approach is needed.

Republicans have largely raised alarm over the tariffs, saying they would set back the U.S. economy in an election year. Trump has said he'll push to put forward a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum, though the White House has not yet released his formal proposal.

The Democratic letter released Wednesday did not go so far as to call for Congress to take oversight power on tariffs, such as carving out a congressional veto on certain kinds of tariffs. Some Democrats say that would be the right way to go.

"I think it's an appropriate role for Congress," said Rep. Brian HigginsBrian HigginsOn The Money: Deficit spikes 25 percent through January | Mnuchin declines to say why Trump pulled Treasury nominee who oversaw Roger Stone case | Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts 'Medicare for All' backers notch win with high-profile hearing MORE (D-N.Y.), member of the House Ways and Means Committee that oversees trade.

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"I think that all of our constituents are affected differently by trade, so there should be a voice in that process to ensure that those people are represented," he added.

Rep. Kenny MarchantKenny Ewell MarchantTexas kicks off critical battle for House control Gun control group plans to spend million in Texas in 2020 Gaetz filing ethics complaint against Pelosi for 'destroying' Trump speech MORE (R-Texas), another Ways and Means member, said that the executive branch has the authority to impose tariffs and that Congress should not overstep.

"I would give him a chance to work on it a little while," he said of Trump's decision, though he added that his constituents were unhappy about the proposed tariffs.