According to a report by The Hill, outgoing Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is pressing the Trump administration for details on the implementation of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Corker seems intent on making President Trump’s negotiating strategy as difficult as possible, undermining him at every turn.
Also per The Hill, Corker sent a letter on Wednesday to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross “asking for details on how the Commerce Department is deciding which countries will be exempted from the steep financial penalties”, which Corker insists are having a “damaging” impact on U.S. businesses.
As The Hill also reported:
On the hot seat, Ross defended the tariffs as necessary to protect American businesses.
“Actions taken by the president are necessary to revive America’s essential steel and aluminum industries,” Ross told lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee. “Allowing imports to continue unchecked threatens to impair our national security.”
The heated hearing comes as lawmakers in both parties have raised alarm over Trump’s moves in recent weeks to implement a series of tariffs on China as well as U.S. allies, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
Those tariffs have rattled markets and sparked anger in the business community, which has warned they could lead to job losses, damage growth and undercut any gains from the GOP tax law.
And there are more details available here, as well.
At the hearing, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) targeted tariffs put in place under Section 232, which allows the administration to take trade actions to protect national security.
“The lessons of the steel and aluminum tariffs are clear — these tariffs do not support U.S. national security,” Hatch told Ross.
Hatch shared stories about how other businesses in the broader economy are being affected by the metal tariffs.
“I just don’t see how the damage posed on all of these sectors could possibly advance our national security,” Hatch told Ross.
“Instead, they harm American manufacturers, damage our economy, hurt American consumers, and disrupt our relationship with our long-time allies while giving China a free pass,” he said.
Hatch also said he was shocked when the White House called for an investigation into whether tariffs are needed on auto imports for national security reasons.