Jeff Flake to Write Bill to Nullify Trump Tariffs

Pauline Gross
March 14, 2018

Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press this morning, Flake - who has been outspoken in his Trump criticism for a while now - criticized the behavior exhibited by the president at his off-the-rails campaign rally last night, stating that "we should never normalize this kind of behavior". Jeff Flake on Sunday said President Trump needs a 2020 challenge from someone who holds Flake's traditional conservative views.

"I disagree with this action and fear its unintended consequences", the speaker of the House said in a statement, while welcoming the temporary exemptions granted to Mexico and Canada.

Cornyn is among the Republicans who've bucked the president on the tariffs, warning that they risk undermining strong US economic growth and undercutting the benefits of the Republican tax cut legislation passed previous year. For good measure, he lectured Trump and his enablers: "Tariffs will not add thousands of American jobs. But that's not to say it will stay that way", Flake said.

Whatever Washington lawmakers opt to do, they will have to reach a two-thirds majority vote to overcome a presidential veto - forcing Republicans to find support among the Democratic opposition, a challenge in its own right.

In fact, Flake has already announced he'd be appearing at next week's New Hampshire Institute of Politics event, "Politics & Eggs".

Even if there is an initial victory from a friendly court to stay Trump's tariffs, a case would face hard appeals, according to Mark Warner, a Toronto-based trade lawyer with MAAW Law who practices in the USA and Canada.

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"It undermines the benefits that the new tax law provides and runs counter to our goal of advancing pro-growth trade policies that will keep America competitive in the 21st century global economy", he said.

Countries could challenge Trump's action in the World Trade Organization, putting this worldwide forum in the uncomfortable position of determining what is in the "essential security interests" of the US, in accordance with an existing agreement on tariffs and trade.

Sen Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, who also opposes the tariffs, said he wasn't ready yet to embrace a legislative response.

Ryan said he would continue to urge the president to focus the tariffs only on countries that violate trade law, like China.

"We just want fairness", he added.

Other reports by GizPress

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