Ryan, Johnson speak out against Trump tariffs

Ryan, Johnson speak out against Trump tariffs

"We should never normalize this kind of behavior, particularly from the president of the United States", Flake said.

Even before entering politics, Trump the businessman and real estate developer railed against what he viewed as unfair trade practices that left the USA economy and American workers vulnerable.

In the case of these tariffs, the Republican leader used a 1962 law authorizing the president to tax certain imports in the name of national security protection - legislation rarely invoked in the past except in the notable case of oil.

Republicans fear Trump's action risks distracting voters and disrupting the USA economy just months before the midterm election that will test his protectionist policies, populist rhetoric and chaotic approach to the presidency.

The latest version of this law, adopted under Barack Obama in 2015, will expire in July of this year unless Trump requests an extension until 2021.

Johnson said he expected Trump's action, which takes effect in 15 days, to be challenged in court. "Our factories were left to rot and to rust all over the place", Trump said. They include former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, House Speaker Paul Ryan, former Defense Secretary Colin Powell, and Trump's own U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, among others.

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All 435 seats in the House will be on ballots.

Jeff Flake wants to pass a bill to block them. The party's odds of gaining a majority in the Senate, where the GOP holds a one-vote majority, are steeper because Democrats hold most of the seats up for election this year. "Congress can not be complicit as the administration courts economic disaster".

Flake is now drafting legislation that would nullify the tariffs, worrying they will disrupt the economy.

Historically proponents of free trade, several Republicans dubbed the measures "stupid" and "misguided" - if the United States increases the cost of both materials, they hold, American producers of vehicles and other products will suffer setbacks on the global playing field, and consumers will pay more.

"This isn't just bad for farmers and ranchers in Nebraska who need to buy a new tractor, it's also bad for the moms and dads who will lose their manufacturing jobs because fewer people can buy a more expensive product", he said. "I mean, it would be a tough go in a Republican primary".

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