President Trump is reportedly continuing his protectionist campaign against the advice of most of his trade advisers, advocating a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion in foreign-made cars just as the implications of his already-implemented tariffs begin to materialize.
While fellow Republicans and prominent members of the business community continue to protest the administration’s multi-front trade war with China, the EU, Canada, and Mexico, Trump insists that his advisers “simply trust his business acumen,” the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
In a Wednesday morning tweet, Trump voiced his discontent with the pro-free-trade position long held by most prominent Republicans.
Every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade talks or the use of Tariffs to counter unfair Tariffs, I wonder, what can they be thinking? Are we just going to continue and let our farmers and country get ripped off? Lost $817 Billion on Trade last year. No weakness!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2018
The administration imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imported from Europe last month, and the EU responded by imposing tariffs on $3.3 billion in U.S. goods. Trump is scheduled to meet with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker Wednesday to discuss Europe’s increasingly complex trade relationship with the U.S.
As steel and aluminum prices have increased, large American automakers, such as General Motors and Harley Davidson, have seen share prices fall after readjusting their earnings outlooks for the year.
Republican free traders, many of whom represent farm states, launched a volley of harsh criticism at the White House Tuesday after the Department of Agriculture announced it would provide $12 billion in aid to farmers adversely affected by retaliatory tariffs. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said the aid package moved the U.S. closer toward “a Soviet type of economy” while Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska said farmers were “being paid to lose” and likened the aid package to “gold crutches.”
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