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 CorkerIt's time for Biden's Cuba GOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics Former GOP senator: Republicans cannot let Trump's 'reckless' post-election claims stand MORE (R-Tenn.) is renewing his effort to rein in President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills 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.


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 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 was grilled about the trade strategy by GOP senators on the Finance Committee during a hearing last week.

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMurkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Trump backs former campaign adviser for Ohio Republican Party chair 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."