House Speaker Ryan criticizes Trump tariff plan

House Speaker Ryan criticizes Trump tariff plan

House Speaker Paul Ryan was in Atlanta to tout the economic benefits of tax cuts, the centerpiece of the Republican campaign to hold on to Congress. President Donald Trump had other ideas. Ryan told Home Depot Inc. employees how they and their company will be helped by the tax cuts passed past year. But the issue of tariffs has sparked the Wisconsin Republican's strongest criticism of the president's policies.

Steel and aluminum workers were invited to the White House for the afternoon announcement with Trump. John McCain, expressed concern that Trump's sharp tariffs will actually hurt the USA economy.

The looming departure of White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive who has opposed the promised tariffs, set off anxiety among business leaders and investors anxious about a potential trade war.

Trump says a 25 percent tariff will be added to steel and a 10 percent tariff will apply to aluminum.

Republicans worked for days both behind the scenes and with public pleas to try to get Trump to back down, or significantly curtail, his threat of tariffs.

Trump set the tariffs based on a Commerce Department investigation that found imports of the metals pose a risk to national security.

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"Our factories were left to rot, and to rust all over the place". On Monday, the U.S. Court of International Trade, which hears cases involving trade and customs law, dismissed a challenge by a group of Canadian solar panel manufacturers that sought to block a 30 percent Trump tariff on imported solar cells. "Congress can not be complicit as the administration courts economic disaster", Flake said Thursday. "Don't weaken his hand", said Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., a Trump ally who is running for the Senate in November.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have spoken out against the tariffs.

"Unless the president reverses course, it will be American consumers, workers and families who will lose", Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California said.

"These so-called "flexible tariffs" are a marriage of two lethal poisons to economic growth - protectionism and uncertainty", Flake said in a statement. A White House official said Trump was referencing an ongoing investigation of China in which the USA trade representative is studying whether Chinese intellectual property rules are "unreasonable or discriminatory" to American business. He has tried to use the tariffs as leverage in ongoing talks to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement, suggesting Canada and Mexico might be exempted from tariffs if they offer more favorable terms under NAFTA.

"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.

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