WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump met with the Swedish Prime Minister on Tuesday amid concerns by European Union members about his plan to implement global tariffs on steel and aluminum.
On Tuesday Trump doubled down on the tariffs, saying he wants to stop the dumping of steel and aluminum by foreign competitors. House Speaker Paul Ryan believes higher tariffs will have unintended consequences.
“Clearly, abuse is occurring. Clearly, there is overcapacity: dumping in trans-shipping of steel and aluminum by some countries, particularly China. But I think the smarter way to go is to make it more surgical and more targeted,” he said.
In a rare public split, House Speaker Ryan’s office said they were “urging the White House to not advance with his plan.”
Republican leaders in both houses are exploring ways to block or scale back the tariffs, assuming Trump follows through.
A new Quinnipiac University poll shows 50 percent of Americans oppose the tariffs, while 31 percent support them. Of those surveyed, 64 percent said a trade war would be bad for the economy, 28 percent said it would be good.
“Nobody ever wins trade wars,” said Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. “Trade wars are always lost by all involved and the President continues to treat trade as a zero-sum game.”
Despite the president’s argument that tariffs would help rescue the steel and aluminum injuries, a new study shows they would lead to a loss of nearly 150-thousand jobs.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Trump administration’s plan is “not well targeted.” Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Schumer said the president’s instincts to go after China are ‘the right thing to do” but expressed concern that Canada and Europe could also be adversely affected.
“They ought to make sure what they do is focused on China, they are our number one trade problem, not Canada not Europe,” Schumer said.
The tariffs proposed would primarily hit longtime U.S. allies Canada, Britain, Germany, South Korea, and Japan. The European Union has said it will respond by taxing American imports.