Republicans are going all-out to try and stop Trump's new economic policy

Republicans are going all-out to try and stop Trump's new economic policy

donald trump kevin brady

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

President Donald Trump and Rep. Kevin Brady

  • 107 House Republicans wrote a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to rethink his new tariffs on steel and aluminum.
  • The members join a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers urging the president to change his mind on the tariffs.

House Republicans are stepping up their campaign to stop or alter President Donald Trump's most recent economic policy announcement: broad-based tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel.

Some 107 House Republicans sent a letter to Trump to urge him to soften the blow of his recently announced tariffs, which act as a tax on imports, and target China directly with trade action instead.

"We support your resolve to address distortions caused by China's unfair practices, and we are committed to acting with you and our trading partners on meaningful and effective action," the letter said. "But we urge you to reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences to the US economy and its workers."

Rep. Kevin Brady, the chair of the House Ways and Means committee and the leader of the GOP push against the tariffs, attempted to stand with Trump while also critiquing the policy in a statement accompanying the letter.


"We're writing today to say: we stand with you in taking tough action to keep America safe and our economy strong," Brady said. "At the same time, we're urging the President to tailor these tariffs so American businesses can continue to trade fairly with our partners, sell American-made products to customers all over the world, and hire more workers here at home."

The authors listed a few major concerns about how the tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum will hit the US economy such as increased prices for consumers and higher costs for businesses that rely on the metals to make their products.

Additionally, the lawmakers argue, the negative consequences from the tariffs could undo any positive economic boost from the recently-passed GOP tax law. Losing that boost could also undercut the party's key message for the 2018 midterms.

To mitigate these issues, Brady and the other signatories suggested that the tariff allow US companies to apply for an exemption to get around the new tax if they are unable to fill their metal needs domestically and the administration should review the measure regularly to determine if the tariff is having the intended effect.

The letter follows a long campaign by Republican leaders to try and pressure Trump into easing up on the tariff, which came unexpectedly.


House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both expressed their misgivings about the policy over the past few days and other GOP members offered less-than-glowing opinions of Trump's move.

"This is not a real estate transaction," Sen. John Cornyn, the second-highest ranking GOP senator told reporters on Tuesday. "You could maybe walk away from a real estate transaction, we really can't walk away from these trade agreements without jeopardizing the economy."

Trump is expected to formally sign off on the tariffs at 3:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.