Freedom Caucus pushing for last-minute meeting with Trump over tariffs, trade: report

Freedom Caucus pushing for last-minute meeting with Trump over tariffs, trade: report
© Greg Nash

Members of the House Freedom Caucus are attempting to set up a meeting with President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE before he implements his new tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsBen Shapiro: No prominent GOP figure ever questioned Obama's legitimacy Trump finds consistent foil in 'Squad' Gun store billboard going after the 'Squad' being removed following backlash MORE (R-N.C.), the group's chairman, has spoken with the president multiple times in the last few days to relay their concerns to Trump and push for a more targeted tariff package that aligns with the Freedom Caucus's support for free trade, according to several sources who spoke to the Post.

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On Wednesday, Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyRepublicans' rendezvous with reality — their plan is to cut Social Security The Social Security 2100 Act is critical for millennials and small business owners House panel releases documents of presidential tax return request before Trump MORE (R-Texas) was leading the group's effort to set up a meeting with Trump, joined by other House Republicans critical of the president's protectionist stances on trade, the newspaper reported.

A White House official told the newspaper that meeting was unlikely to happen, however. Trump has reportedly complained in closed-door meetings about Canada's stance on North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations and has indicated a stubbornness on the issue of tariffs.

The president announced last week that his administration would implement tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports, while White House officials have gone back and forth over whether the tariffs will apply to the U.S.'s closest neighbors. Trump himself has indicated they will likely apply even to NAFTA members Mexico and Canada.

"Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed," Trump tweeted on Monday, adding, "Mexico must do much more on stopping drugs from pouring into the U.S. They have not done what needs to be done."

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanSoaring deficits could put Trump in a corner if there's a recession Paul Ryan moving family to Washington Embattled Juul seeks allies in Washington MORE's (R-Wis.) office said Monday that the Speaker had raised his own concerns with Trump's proposal on multiple occasions.

“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” AshLee Strong, Ryan’s spokeswoman, said in a statement. “The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don't want to jeopardize those gains.”