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Republicans, Don’t Let Trump Bully You on Tariffs
For several months, President Trump has been vandalizing the global economy and subverting the rules of international trade with his wrecking ball of tariff indiscretions. Finally, someone in Congress is doing something to stop this menace. Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, introduced legislation on Wednesday that takes back some of the authority President Trump has been abusing under the guise of protecting national security.
Mr. Corker, who is retiring, attracted six Republican co-sponsors for the bill, which would amend the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to require the president to get approval from Congress for any tariffs proposed on national security grounds. But the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said he would not allow the legislation to come to the floor as a stand-alone bill. House Speaker Paul Ryan seems similarly uninterested in a bill likely to be vetoed by Mr. Trump. “You would have to pass a law that he would want to sign into law,” Mr. Ryan said. “You can do the math on that.”
Why don’t the president’s trade transgressions elicit meaningful resistance from party leadership? His trade views are disdainful of freedom and informed by economic fallacies, yet Republican leaders have watched quietly from the sidelines as Mr. Trump misappropriates his authorities to disrupt global supply chains, inflict pain on American trade partners, generate enormous amounts of domestic collateral damage and make the United States an international scofflaw.
The United States Constitution vests authority in Congress to collect duties and to “regulate commerce with foreign nations.” But over the course of the 20th century, Congress delegated some of its authority to the president. In most cases, the statutes giving the executive branch the authority to raise tariffs require that certain conditions be met and that any actions taken be subject to limitations, as well as judicial review.
President Trump has found a way to weaponize these statutes to advance his “America First” agenda. Since taking office, he has initiated six investigations under three highly contentious laws. Five of those investigations — on steel, aluminium, washing machines, solar panel components and Chinese technology products — have led to the president imposing or announcing tariffs on imports of more than 1,500 products valued at about $100 billion. A new investigation of whether imports of automobiles and parts constitute a national security threat could raise the value of sanctioned imports to $400 billion. Factoring in the likelihood of retaliation against American exporters, about 20 percent of total goods trade could find itself in the cross hairs by year’s end.
For more than 80 years going back to Franklin D. Roosevelt, American presidents viewed trade as a win-win proposition, fostering mutual economic growth and better relations among nations. Those presidents supported the rules and institutions that helped reduce protectionism and made trade more affordable, seamless and predictable. Between 1947 and 2006, average global tariffs fell to 4 percent from 40 percent in developed countries, trade flourished, and economies expanded rapidly.
Mr. Trump’s actions risk reversing these gains. He has invoked laws that were passed under the assumption that the president, reflecting a broader national consensus, would always be more circumspect and less likely to impulsively raise tariffs than a parochially minded Congress. Lawmakers failed to contemplate the possibility of a president as cavalier about the consequences of protectionism and as impervious to the lessons of history as Mr. Trump.....
Albert wrote:It could be that Trump actually wants to isolate the liberal progressive SJW club nations of France, Germany and Canada. He knows UK is about to leave EU and is looking for closer trade relations with US; Italy might leave EU as well soon, with populist government in charge; Japan will join USA if push comes to shove. Diplomatically long term cards are in US favour. Being that Merkel, Trudeau's and Macron's can not think more then 1 steps ahead they are flying right into his game.
Top European Union official Donald Tusk said on Sunday that there is a “special place in heaven” for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a sly rebuke of recent comments made by one of President Trump’s trade officials.
“There is a special place in heaven for @JustinTrudeau,” tweeted Tusk, the president of the European Council. “Canada, thank you for the perfect organisation of G7!”
There is a special place in heaven for @JustinTrudeau. Canada, thank you for the perfect organisation of G7!
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) June 10, 2018
Tusk’s comments came shortly after Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro said there was a “special place in hell” for leaders who betrayed Trump.
"There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door," Navarro said on "Fox News Sunday."
"That's what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference. That's what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did, and that comes right from Air Force One," he continued.
Trudeau announced on Saturday that all nations at the Group of Seven summit had signed a joint communique.
Later on Saturday, Trump criticized the Canadian leader and said the U.S. would not sign the communique despite Trudeau’s previous statement.
"Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!" the president tweeted.
Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018
Trudeau pushed back against Trump’s tweet by saying he had been consistent with Trump during the summit.
"The Prime Minister said nothing he hasn’t said before — both in public, and in private conversations with the President," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
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