Senate passes bill to get say in national security tariffs

Corker, who is locked in a war of words with Trump, said Tuesday the president is degrading the country by "standing up in front of the American people and stating untruths that everybody knows to be untrue". The statute uses national security as a basis for raising barriers to trade and has been used by the Trump administration to slap tariffs on metals imports from important U.S. allies. Presidents need the freedom to negotiate, Perdue said, and Trump is simply trying to restore fairness to a trade imbalance with USA trading partners.

Supporters of Wednesday's vote presented it as an important statement, and potentially a first step toward ultimately passing legislation giving Congress veto power over some of Trump's trade moves. He said he would do everything in his power to defeat any efforts to rescind them, but said he agreed that Congress should have a role when the tariffs are determined. Corker said no one ever anticipated that a president would use that authority the way Trump has done.

But Republican congressional leaders - who control majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives and support most Trump policies - have not allowed a binding vote on the measure, settling instead only for a symbolic vote Wednesday. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., to ensure Congress can exercise oversight in the implementation of national security-designated tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, according to a news release from Corker's office.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged lawmakers to support Corker's resolution but also pass "actual legislation" requiring congressional consent for the tariffs.

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"In addition to diminishing the economic benefits of the administration's successful tax and regulatory policies, these tariffs - and resulting trade retaliation from other countries - will continue to impose tremendous costs on USA businesses and workers, erode US global competitiveness and economic growth, and undermine key USA economic and security relationships".

Several senators said Trump is making it hard to work with allies to counter China. The White House has launched an investigation into whether tariffs on auto imports should be imposed under the same law. "To be sticking a stick in the eye of our closest friends and abusing authorities, and maybe doing it for political purposes, is offensive to those of us here (too)".

"Today, the Senate issued a clear rebuke of this administration's trade policy", said Flake.

The trade conflict has roiled markets in recent weeks, despite indications of a strong economy. Speaking on Trump's latest tariffs against China, Inhofe said Trump is working toward a larger goal. Is yours on the list?

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