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 TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview 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 KindSteel lobby's PR blitz can't paper over damaging effects of tariffs Congress should stop tariff power grab, bring balance to US trade policy Ocasio-Cortez sparks debate with talk of 70 percent marginal rate MORE (Wis.), Rick LarsenRichard (Rick) Ray LarsenAviation groups push bill that would fund FAA during shutdown Transportation Department watchdog to examine airplane cabin evacuation standards Dems win nail-biter in charity congressional soccer game MORE (Wash.) and Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksProtesters interrupt Elliott Abrams during Venezuela hearing Dem behind impeachment push to boycott State of the Union Democrats seek to take on Trump at State of the Union 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.

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 SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration 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 HigginsDems offer smaller step toward ‘Medicare for all' Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Powerful House committee turns to drug pricing | Utah governor defies voters on Medicaid expansion | Dems want answers on controversial new opioid Assault weapons ban push tests Dem support MORE (D-N.Y.), member of the House Ways and Means Committee that oversees trade.

"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 MarchantHouse Democrat warns ethics committee about Steve King promoting white nationalism website House Dems unveil initial GOP targets in 2020 Puerto Ricans may have elected Rick Scott and other midterm surprises 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.