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 CorkerThe Memo: Romney moves stir worries in Trump World Senate GOP names first female members to Judiciary panel Former US special envoy to anti-ISIS coalition joins Stanford University as lecturer MORE (R-Tenn.) is renewing his effort to rein in President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Ann Coulter blasts Trump shutdown compromise: ‘We voted for Trump and got Jeb!’ 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 RossTrump cancels delegation's trip to Davos amid shutdown Trump administration to appeal ruling against 2020 census citizenship question READ: Federal judge's ruling against Trump administration's push for 2020 census citizenship question MORE was grilled about the trade strategy by GOP senators on the Finance Committee during a hearing last week.

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenators look for possible way to end shutdown GOP reasserts NATO support after report on Trump’s wavering Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight 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."