GOP senator: 'We need somebody out there who understands that we operate in a global economy'

GOP senator: 'We need somebody out there who understands that we operate in a global economy'

GOP Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstSenators offer disaster tax relief bill Conservatives see glaring omission on Trump's Supreme Court shortlist Senate Republicans scramble to contain fallout from Woodward bombshell MORE (Iowa) criticized White House trade adviser Peter Navarro in the wake of the Trump administration's announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, saying early Thursday the White House needs someone who understands the U.S. role in the global economy. 

"We need somebody out there that understands that we operate in a global economy. And we want free and fair trade," Ernst said on "The Hugh Hewitt Show" in response to a question about Navarro. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"Just because you’re slapping tariffs on steel doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be repercussions in other areas," she continued. 

"We export a lot of our soybeans to China, and we know that China is a bad actor. But there is a delicate balance out there, and we need to have thorough negotiations. We haven’t gone through that process."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled McConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt MORE (R-Ky.) said earlier this week that he has "genuine concern" that the president's announcement to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum could lead to a trade war. Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAt indoor rally, Pence says election runs through Wisconsin Juan Williams: Breaking down the debates Peterson faces fight of his career in deep-red Minnesota district MORE's (R-Wis.) office, meanwhile, issued a statement saying he was “extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war." 

The issue has also created a rift in the White House, and reportedly helped lead to economic adviser Gary Cohn's resignation. 

Navarro and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Trump seeks to flip 'Rage' narrative; Dems block COVID-19 bill Judge orders Trump administration stop 'winding down' census collection, processing efforts Animal rights group sues US government to prevent aquarium from acquiring 5 beluga whales MORE have come out publicly to support the tariffs. 

The president suggested in an early morning tweet on Thursday that he will take action to enact the steel and aluminum tariffs.