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

GOP Sen. Joni Ernst (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. 

{mosads}”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 McConnell (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 Ryan’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 Ross 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. 





Tags Joni Ernst Mitch McConnell Paul Ryan Wilbur Ross

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