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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 ErnstConservative Club for Growth PAC comes out against Stefanik to replace Cheney A bipartisan effort to prevent the scourge of sexual assault in the armed forces Ernst defends Cheney, calls for GOP unity 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. 

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"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: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' McConnell alma mater criticizes him for 1619 comments McConnell amid Trump criticism: 'I'm looking forward, not backward' 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 RyanThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Budowsky: Liz Cheney vs. conservatives in name only Cheney at donor retreat says Trump's actions 'a line that cannot be crossed': report 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 RossFormer Trump officials find tough job market On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits 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.