Corker renews effort to rein in Trump on tariffs

Corker renews effort to rein in Trump on tariffs
© Greg Nash

GOP Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Tenn.) is renewing his effort to rein in President TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE's tariff authority amid an escalating trade war.

Corker, an outspoken critic of Trump who's retiring at the end of this term, has filed an amendment to the Senate's farm bill that would require congressional approval if the president wants to impose tariffs under the national security provisions of the trade law, known as Section 232.

ADVERTISEMENT

It's unclear whether the Senate will vote on the amendment authored by Corker, who's chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Republicans blocked a similar proposal, backed by a bipartisan coalition, during the chamber's consideration of an annual defense policy bill earlier this month.

Corker's effort this time around comes as the administration's trade policies further strain Trump's relationship with congressional Republicans, who have publicly pleaded with him to back down from his tariffs strategy.

The European Union announced last week that they would slap new tariffs on American products in response to the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum. A few days later, Harley-Davidson announced it is moving some production overseas to avoid the European tariffs.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossChina sanctions Wilbur Ross, others after US warns of doing business in Hong Kong DOJ won't prosecute Wilbur Ross after watchdog found he gave false testimony Commerce Department unit gathered intel on employees, census critics: report MORE was grilled about the trade strategy by GOP senators on the Finance Committee during a hearing last week.

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban Photos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris Senate starts infrastructure debate amid 11th-hour drama MORE (R-Ohio) said on Tuesday that he's asking for the panel to hold a hearing and a vote on legislation that would alter the national security provisions.

"I think we should have a markup of legislation that narrows the scope of 232 to what I think is the original intent," Portman said. "We talked about this last week in the hearing  ... and I got some answers from [Ross] on the record that I think are consistent with a markup of a tighter 232. I think its too broad right now."