WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump's decision to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports drew rare bipartisan criticism from lawmakers, who warned the move could trigger a transatlantic trade war and hurt USA companies.
Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will take effect in 15 days, with Canada and Mexico indefinitely exempted from the duties, according to people outside the White House who were briefed on the plans Thursday.
"While I respect President Trump's decision to protect American interests, I remain concerned with the unintended consequences that these tariffs on aluminum and steel will have - especially on Arkansas's workers and employers".
Trump said Mexico and Canada could get carve-outs if talks to renegotiate the trilateral NAFTA trade agreement go well.
Donald Trump exempted Canada and Mexico Wednesday from punishing new tariffs on steel and aluminum into the U.S.
"The workers who poured their souls into building this great nation were betrayed", Trump said at the White House. But the president couldn't resist taking a jab at Cohn's strong opposition to Trump's plan to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Trump has long argued that tariffs are needed to revive the US steel and aluminum industries. "The price of steel has already risen in anticipation of the administration's actions, and a 25% tariff will only further erode the progress our industry has made over the past year".More news: Florida governor expected to sign bill with new gun controls today
"By these tariffs going into place, it gives us the ability to come back to 100 percent capacity", said one steel worker from Kentucky.
Watch above, via The White House.
Mr Trump has also demanded concession from the European Union, complaining that it treated American cars unfairly and has threatened to hike tariffs on auto imports from Europe.
Surrounded by a group of steelworkers, Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Trump approvingly cited President William McKinley, a champion of protectionist economic policy, to support his trade decision. Trump said in his tweet. "We urge you to reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences to the USA economy and its workers", 107 House Republicans wrote in a letter to Trump.
Trade tensions between the world's two largest economies have risen since Trump took office.
Meanwhile, Congressmen from Arkansas are speaking out about President Trump signing a proclamation for the tariff. China accounts for only a small fraction of US steel imports, but its massive industrial expansion has helped create a global glut of steel that has driven down prices. Trump has separately discussed withdrawing the United States from NAFTA. "Steel is steel. You don't have steel, you don't have a country".