America’s protectionist president has chosen escalation. And now so should the Republican-controlled Congress.
President Trump’s foolish trade war could easily send America’s accelerating economy into the ditch. But Trump, against all evidence, doesn’t seem worried. That leaves it up to his party to take action against its leader and for its supposed free-market principles.
If you’re a super-optimist, the GOP pushback has already begun. On Wednesday, a day after the Trump administration’s announcement that it plans to hit China with 10 percent tariffs on a further $200 billion in Chinese goods, the Senate voted 88-11 in favor of a GOP-authored provision that would give Congress a role when the president tries to levy tariffs on national security grounds under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. That’s the section the Trump administration has cited as legal rationale to levy 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports.
Free traders should keep their expectations low, however. The provision was non-binding, and it wouldn’t have passed without Democratic votes. Only 39 Republicans voted for it, and at least one GOP senator, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, said he would not actually …read more
Source:: The Week – Business