As President Trump continues to threaten to implement tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a large number of House Republicans are rebelling against the idea. Nearly half of House Republicans recently joined together to send a letter opposing the new tariffs to the president.
Under the heading of the House Ways and Means Committee, 107 Republican members of Congress signed the one-page letter to the president. Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and David Reichert (R-Wash.), chairman of the subcommittee on trade, topped the seven pages of signatures from House members.
The letter leads off by calling the tariffs “taxes that make US businesses less competitive and US consumers poorer.”
The Republicans applaud President Trump's leadership on the tax and regulatory reform, which they say, “have done much to increase the competitiveness of US companies and restore the United States' position as the best place in the world to do business.”
“We are convinced that the benefits of these tax cuts are just beginning,” the congressmen say, “but adding new taxes in the form of broad tariffs would undermine this remarkable progress.”
The letter writers offer an alternative to President Trump's across-the-board tariff plan. They call for a narrow tariff that allows US companies to petition for duty-free import of products not available in the US. They also ask that existing contracts be grandfathered to exclude the new tariffs. Finally, the representatives call for frequent short-term review of the effects of the tariffs to determine “if a different approach would better serve the interests of our American workers, job creators and consumers.”
The president is expected to formally announce the new tariff plan today. This morning, he tweeted, “Looking forward to 3:30 P.M. meeting today at the White House. We have to protect & build our Steel and Aluminum Industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real friends and treat us fairly on both trade and the military.”