Donald Trump seems intent on testing just how far he can go with Senate Republicans and keep their steadfast loyalty. First he hugely unpopular decision to argue that the Affordable Care Act should be struck down in federal court. On the heels of that, he gleefully tweeted about his steel tariffs right after talking to Republican senators telling him to end the tariffs and warning him against imposing new ones on auto imports.
Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley led a cadre of Republicans in a Thursday meeting at the White House to "voice their economic and political concerns with Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, the ongoing trade conflict with China and new tariffs the president has threatened to impose on auto imports." They went to him with the message that approval his new North American trade deal, known as the USMCA, was dependent on his working with lawmakers on other trade issues, like lifting existing tariffs and avoiding new ones. Grassley said afterward that he "urged President Trump to work with us get past the steel and aluminum tariffs issue so USMCA can become law."
A spokeswoman for Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia, who was also at the meeting, said he warned Trump "that moving forward with tariffs on foreign automobiles will hurt the American economy, and Georgia companies will be forced to decrease capacity and delay planned expansion if tariffs are imposed." She added that the gathering was "a productive meeting where ideas were discussed on ways to accomplish the administration's goals without imposing harmful tariffs that will hamper the U.S. economy."
Someone appears not to have been actually in the meeting while he was in the room. Because on the heels of it, Trump gleefully celebrated his steel tariffs on twitter. "Congrats to @U_S_Steel for investing $1+ BILLION in America's most INNOVATIVE steel mill," he tweeted. "232 Tariffs make Pennsylvania and USA more prosperous/secure by bringing Steel and Aluminum industries BACK. Tariffs are working. Pittsburgh is again The Steel City. USA Economy is BOOMING!"
So that went well.
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