Congressional Republicans Need Testicular Fortitude Against Trump

The congressional GOP needs to stand up to the President on tariffs, but won't. Their cowardice will have consequences.

Only Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC) seems willing to stand up to the President, even though there is rare unanimity among congressional Republicans that the President's tariffs are a bad idea. The tariffs are potentially an economically devastating issue. They will raise consumer prices, raise costs to businesses, and not actually keep American industries afloat. They will spark a trade war where it is the United States vs. the world.

Congressional Republicans could build a coalition with Democrats to quickly pass a measure blocking the President, or at least quickly reversing the President. They could pass Senator Mike Lee's Global Trade Accountability Act. They could even simply reconsider section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, which is what the President is relying on to implement tariffs.

They could get Democrat support to ensure veto protection by sunsetting any action for January 2021 so Democrats do not feel like they might be binding a future Democratic president.

This is entirely doable. There is near unanimity among Republicans. There is a strong desire by congressmen for Congress to reassert itself in turf fights with the executive branch. This is the perfect storm.

But Republicans lack the balls to do anything. That's the plain, hard truth. Donald Trump is Ramsey Bolton and the congressional GOP are Theon Greyjoy.

Trump's job as president is to have jobs available for U.S. citizens in the U.S.A. THAT'S the purpose of Trump's Actions. Those of you who support free trade don't give a DAMN that U.S. citizens are unemployed in the steel industry and the coal industry. Make you case for "free trade" to the unemployed steel workers in Pennsylvania and coal miners in West Virginia.

Do you realize that China only provides 3% of our steel??? 70% of the steel used in the US is PRODUCED in the US!!! Who pays for a tariff? The consumer!! The only ones who benefit from a tariff is the government and the big corporations that are protected. Quick economic lesson ( gotten from Mark Levin): Let's say steel is selling on the open market for $1.00/lb. A tariff for steel not produced in the US (remember, this is only 30% of the steel) of $.25 is placed on that steel. Now "our" steel is priced 25% below the market price. Do you really think it will stay there? No, "our" companies will raise their price, probably 20-22%. Then ALL the steel in this country will be 23% more expensive, artificially raising the price of almost everything we buy, completely negating the tax cut they just passed....think in real terms, not with your heart.

Then we should be working to remove their restrictions, not adding ours!

For all of you who are NOT listening, we have exemptions for Canada and Mexico. The tariffs are nothing more than a negotiating tool. In any negotiation, you have levers available to pull to give and take on the negotiation. That is all Trump is doing. When other countries open up actual free and equal trade to the US, the tariffs will become unnecessary. Where were all the critics when all these countries were imposing restrictions on the US and driving up our trade deficit? We cannot be a debtor nation forever and our time to take care of everyone else is long over. Also, in case you have not noticed, US Steel is reopening an plant here now that this is happening. We need manufacturing jobs in order to stay solvent. A country based on service industries alone cannot stand for long.

This is an obvious campaign promise that helped Trump win in the Rust Belt. It will have very little impact on the economy and Republicans should do nothing.

If we really had Free Trade that would be great but we don't. NAFTA was nothing more than a give-away program that hurt the US and our workers but, of course, none of our representatives gave a damn about that did they. Go Trump and damn the torpedoes.

I am not a tariff friend, nor is Erick, nor are many of the economics bent. For example, Mark Levin has been a strong voice against this perspective. But this is no surprise.
Trump telegraphed it in the election of 2016 and probably won some close states as a result.

What Trump says and what he does are two separate entities. But your suggestion that the GOP join form a coalition with the Communists, nee DOC, is just insane. In the first place the old guard of the Grand Old Politburo have already done that and that is the largest reason we have no Obamacare "repeal and replacement" and the other portions of Trump's agenda are not moving forward. Nothing you do with the left will not serve the left first and foremost and that is not in the best interest of this country.

Good post Erick.

His job isn't to focus on one or two industries. It's the WHOLE economy. Think of the extreme case: other nations give us their steel for free. Oh the horror... American industry gets a free raw material. All that can do is help us overall. We shouldn't cater to one or two industries.

He's consistent. He's called out Obama and Bush for their tariffs, which didn't register a dent in US production and only raised prices at the checkout counter.

The fact that no major industrialized economy employs tariffs on a grand scale is a testament to their ineffectiveness. Only Communist throw-back states like Venezuela still use them.

Unfortunately, the Republicans aren't the only "ball-less" ones. The cult will praise it as more proof that Trump plays 4-D chess, makes deals, and is better than every president before him that tried tariffs. SAD.

And who will the cult blame if it blows up in their faces? Everyone but themselves and the orange object of their veneration: I.e. they'll instead blame the Illuminati, the Free Masons, The Bilderberg Group, the Fed, the "elites," "globalists" and (((rootless cosmopolitans))), not to mention the Trilateral Commission, the "Deep State" and the 4H Club.

Targeted tariffs to equalize products in which trading we are being deliberately victimized is both good policy and good economics. So-called Free Trade does not exist!

TomBrown: I'm not a cultist, but that characterization maligns many good people I know who have sacrificed much for liberty. Many of them are veterans who fought communism and the jihadists to defend your right to come here and write insensitive comments. You paint with a broad brush, and are unnecessarily harsh.

I am a never-ever-ever Trumper who thinks the President may just be right on this one. A trade war hurts everybody, but it hurts least whichever country has the biggest domestic market in which to sell its products duty-free. That would be us. Stated another way, an all out trade war hurts us, but it kills China because we sell so little there while they sell so much here. So I think it an entirely plausible strategy to protect certain key industries while daring the rest of the world to respond in kind; holding over their heads the threat that retaliation against us will result in even greater protectionism from us. Impose retaliatory duties on our Harleys and we will respond with tariffs on your automobiles. Trust me when I say that I am choking on the words, but when Trump maintains that a trade war is winnable, especially when its purpose is simply to force the rest of the world to play fair, he just may be right.

I'm not the one who introduced the word "cult" into the discussion here (that would be the commenter I quoted: StridentConservative). But once it had been brought up, I figured I'd go with it. Sorry for the offense.

You still don't get this President. He is attacking the trade deficits as promised. This needs to play out. Just wait before you and many others get "North Korea'd" AGAIN!