Ever since President Trump announced his plan to impose new tariffs, Republican lawmakers have jumped to criticize the idea. However, Trump is arguing that the tax on imports will help strengthen the American economy and expand GOP majorities in both the House and Senate.
However, not many Republican lawmakers are convinced that the tariffs will have such an effect. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is pushing Trump to abandon tariffs.
AshLee Strong, spokeswoman of Paul Ryan, said in a statement, “We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan. The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains.”
Paul Ryan is also joined in his opposition to the new tariffs by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Kevin Brady (R-TX). The committee wrote a letter to President Trump asking him to reconsider the tariff. The Chairman has had multiple meetings with Trump to talk him through the Committee’s position. He issued a statement, “The president has not made a final decision yet. I am continuing to reach out to the White House and the trade team … I want to continue to stay at the table to help him tailor this.”
The chairman of Senate Finance, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), expressed confidence that Brady’s and Ryan’s efforts would be successful in persuading Trump to drop his tariff plan, which he blamed on protectionist advisers at the White House.
He told reporters, “Some of us have weighed in. … I think he’s thinking it through. I think he’s shooting one across the bow and letting people know that we’re not being treated fairly.”
Another GOP strategist Doug Heye said in a statement that “there’s no question” that this move could undermine the midterm message of the party.
“Increased consumer costs because of tariff escalation hurt the positive messaging on the economy the party tries to focus on when tweets don’t get in the way,” he added.