As the Washington Post reports, President Trump is going further down the tariff rabbit hole:
Several of President Trump’s senior economic advisers believe he plans to push forward with 25 percent tariffs on close to $200 billion in foreign-made automobiles later this year, three people briefed on internal discussions said.
Trump wants to move forward despite numerous warnings from GOP leaders and business executives who have argued that such a move could damage the economy and lead to political mutiny. [Pols emphasis]
But Trump has become increasingly defiant in his trade strategy, following his own instincts and intuition and eschewing advice from his inner circle. He has told advisers and Republicans to simply trust his business acumen, a point he tried to reinforce Wednesday morning in a Twitter post.
“Every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade talks or the use of Tariffs to counter unfair Tariffs, I wonder, what can they be thinking?” Trump said Wednesday. “Are we just going to continue and let our farmers and country get ripped off?”
Trump’s trade policies are being hammered on all fronts lately, with Congressional Republicans getting louder about their opposition to policies that are already causing havoc on the American economy. As Politico reports:
Pro-free trade Republicans were already furious with Trump’s escalation of tariffs against U.S. allies and China — a multi-front trade war they say is hurting U.S. farmers and manufacturers. But the administration’s response Tuesday — announcing plans to send $12 billion to farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs to ease the pain — is the opposite of conservative, free-trade orthodoxy, they said.
“This is becoming more and more like a Soviet type of economy here: Commissars deciding who’s going to be granted waivers, commissars in the administration figuring out how they’re going to sprinkle around benefits,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). “I’m very exasperated. This is serious.”
“Taxpayers are going to be asked to initial checks to farmers in lieu of having a trade policy that actually opens and expands more markets. There isn’t anything about this that anybody should like,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 GOP leader. He suggested the new spending might need to be offset by cuts in other funding areas.
The pushback on Trump’s trade policies isn’t limited to Washington D.C. Here in Colorado, exasperated farmers are dismissing a White House proposal to spend $12 billion on “emergency aid” in an attempt to stem the bleeding from a wound that didn’t exist until Trump started poking at it.