McConnell ‘nervous’ Trump tariffs will hurt the country

McConnell ‘nervous’ Trump tariffs will hurt the country
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate Fox's Wallace says 'well-connected' Republican told him there's a 20 percent chance GOP will vote for impeachment White House staggers after tumultuous 48 hours MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday warned of a "slippery slope" regarding President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE's trade policies, telling Kentucky business leaders that his home state could be harmed.

"Many of you are in agriculture. We are a great exporter of an agricultural product," McConnell said in a speech to farmers and business leaders in Shelbyville, Ky., the Courier-Journal reported. "I am nervous about getting into trade wars and I hope this doesn't go too far." 

"I'm not a fan of tariffs, and I am nervous about what appears to be a growing trend in the administration to levy tariffs," the senator added, according to the Louisville newspaper. "This is a slippery slope, so my hope is that this will stop before it gets into a broader tit-for-tat that can't be good for our country."

This week, the White House announced tariffs of 25 percent targeting Chinese electronics, shoes and furniture, among other commodities.

China's government responded Wednesday with reciprocal tariffs, announcing a plan targeting about $50 billion worth of goods including American soybeans, airplanes and automobiles.

Business groups warned the administration this week that escalating protectionist trade policies could have an adverse effect on consumers.

"While we are pleased that many everyday products such as clothing and shoes are not on the list, we remain concerned that other goods such as consumer electronics and home appliances are targets," National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said on Tuesday.

Trump has so far dismissed these concerns, tweeting that a trade war would be "easy to win" for the United States.